CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 19 . . . . January 20, 2012
Norah McClintock’s latest novel for the “Orca Soundings” series, One Way, explores ideas of guilt and the ramifications of careless actions. Kenzie doesn’t think twice when he decides to ride his bike the wrong way down a one-way street. However, he becomes distracted and accidentally hits his ex-girlfriend, Stassi, seriously injuring her. Stassi is hospitalized with brain damage, and Kenzie must reevaluate the significance of his actions and cope with his sense of guilt. Kenzie’s problems seem to become more personal and direct when allegations arise that he purposefully caused the collision. Kenzie rashly decides to figure out who the alleged witness is and confront him or her.
McClintock’s story is faced-paced and well-suited to the high-interest, low-vocabulary format of the “Orca Soundings” series. As part of the series, One Way is 125 pages long, with a large typeface and a maximum reading level of 4.5. The reader is quickly drawn into Kenzie’s mistake and his ensuing struggles. Having been told the story of the accident from Kenzie’s point of view, the reader knows that Kenzie did not intentionally hurt Stassi and his somewhat immature actions are believable and interesting.
Beth Wilcox is a teacher in the Ottawa area and a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature graduate from the University of British Columbia.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.