CM March 29, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 24

image Meyers' Creek.

Connie Brummel Crook.
Toronto: Stoddart, 1995. 293pp, paper, $6.99.
ISBN: 0-7736-7436-5.

Subject Heading:
United Empire loyalists-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 6 and up / Ages 11 and up.
Review by Irene Gordon.



The bear turned, her brown nose extended as she sniffed the air, and started towards him. Then less than thirty feet away, she reared up and stood looking down on him.
George pulled his musket down and without taking time to aim, fired.
In that very same second the bear dropped down on all fours and ran away through the field with the speed of a cannonball.
George stood frozen to the spot. There was no point in chasing the bear through the corn. She would be almost impossible to find.
Where was his brother? He must have shot at the bear, too. "Tobias! Tobias!" he shouted.

Connie Brummel Crook has written a typical family-pioneer story based on her own family's experiences as United Empire Loyalists who moved from New York State to what is now the Belleville area of Ontario. The author carefully researched her family's history and says that the events of the book are all true, though she did change some dates. But she chose to write the book as a biographical novel for young readers rather than as a more scholarly biography.

Meyers' Creek is actually a continuation of the Meyers' family story that began with the book Flight. Crook has also written novels about Laura Secord and Nellie McClung, Laura's Choice and Nellie L.

Meyers' Creek is a good blend of adventure (see the excerpt above), historical fact, description of domestic life, and romance.

As a young adolescent, this reviewer devoured novels about life in North America during pioneer days. But after thirteen years of experience as a junior-high teacher-librarian, it seems historical novels are not very popular among today's junior-high students. And boys who might enjoy the adventure of Meyers' Creek may be put off because the main character is female, or by the romance and domestic details.

Teachers of students studying this era of Canadian history should certainly introduce Meyers' Creek and Flight to their students. How many students will actually choose to read either of them for pleasure is another question.


Irene Gordon is a teacher-librarian who has spent the past thirteen years working in a junior high school in Winnipeg.

Meyers' Creek was reviewed by classes across Canada as part of the Collaborative Book Review Project. You can read the students' reviews at the Collaborative Book Review Project site.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364