________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 33. . . .April 26, 2013


Wave. (HIP Xtreme Novels).

Debbie Ouellet. Illustrated by Charlie Hnatiuk.
Toronto, ON: H.I.P. Books, 2012.
83 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-926847-27-6.

Grades 4-12 / Ages 9-17.

Review by Nicole Dalmer.

***1/2 /4


Wave Teacherís Guide.

Lori Jamison.
Toronto, ON: H.I.P. Books, 2012.
19 pp., stapled, $7.95. (Free when six or more copies of Wave are purchased at the same time.)
ISBN 978-1-926847-28-3.

Grades 4-12 / Ages 9-17.

Review by Nicole Dalmer.

***1/2 /4



People shouted and screamed. They knocked each other down as they jumped from balconies and ran. Some fell to their knees and just stared at the sea. Frozen. They were frozen by fear.

I knew just how they felt. I couldnít move either. I just stood there and watched the huge black wall of water get bigger and bigger. This monster wave was swallowing boats and growing by the minute.

I looked up to see Mai curled up on the balcony. Two thoughts flashed in my mind. Mai is afraid of the water. When the tide goes out, it always comes back in.

That mountain of a wave was going to come back to Patong Beach. It was going to come back hard and strong. And when it came back, the wave might just kill us all.


While in Thailand with his mom, visiting his soon-to-be stepfather and stepsister, Mai, Luke experiences the unexpected Ė a tsunami hits Patong Beach. Luke and Mai survive the first two waves, holding on to branches and clambering through the streets, while trying to avoid the debris the tsunami has washed up and strewn about. Mai and Luke search the streets for their parents, becoming more desperate and disheartened as they see more and more people that did not survive the tsunamiís impact. While helping others search through buildings reduced to rubble, the pair of soon-to-be siblings search for food, water and other supplies, and they are soon joined by Kasem, a local to Patong Beach, who helps in their search for their parents. The three children then travel towards a meeting place where families have been posting pictures of missing loved ones. Upon their arrival, they begin combing the hotels and makeshift hospitals and the walls of photos others have posted, searching for their parents.

     Debbie Ouelletís Wave is part of the ďHIP XtremeĒ series, designed for reluctant readers from grade six to high school who are reading at a grade three level. As such, the composition of the book has been specifically designed with the needs of these readers in mind. This book is noticeably suspenseful, the suspense created in part, by the short sentences, the plotís fast-pace, minimal descriptive passages and short, manageable chapters. The book is simplistic in many ways: in sentence structure and length and in word choice. Furthermore, as a means to encourage and foster readersí confidence, there is a great deal of word repetition. Black-and-white illustrations appear every few pages, serving as picture support, allowing readers to visualize the characters and situations. Dialogue between characters was also basic, yet authentic in accurately capturing slang and language used by teenagers. While problems and obstacles are quickly and easily resolved, surprisingly, the lack of depth within the plot does not deter from the readerís attachment and commitment to the charactersí outcomes.

internal art      Accompanying the book is a teacherís guide, written by Lori Jamison. Designed for both small group and whole class instruction, this guide is full of useful resources for teachers, including plot synopses, facts about tsunamis, and a variety of classroom exercises, quizzes and handouts that incorporate different plot elements and characters of Wave.

      Specifically crafted for reluctant readers, Wave is an intense read, driven by a fast-paced plot, a suspenseful situation and an exotic location. Authentic dialogue and accessible language will engage reluctant readers while the accompanying teacherís guide will provide instructors with creative techniques and tools to incorporate this book into their curriculum.

Highly Recommended.

Nicole Dalmer is a recent graduate of the Master of Library and Information Studies program and is now a Public Service Librarian at the Herbert T. Coutts Education and Physical Education Library at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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