________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 24. . . .February 21, 2014


Stand Your Ground. 20th Anniversary Ed.

Eric Walters.
Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013.
230 pp., trade pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55455-285-6

Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.

Review by Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen.

*** /4



There was an unreal quality to living with my grandparents. The days were predictable, made up of regular, almost ritualistic activities. I could set my watch by what went on every day. It wasn’t necessarily bad, just very different from what I was used to.

Living with my father was a lot of things, but it was never predictable, mostly because of the way he earned his living. He jokingly called it “fishing,” but there were other names for it: running a confidence racket, grafting, scamming, game playing, flimflamming. But no matter the name, it was the same game. He made his money doing things that were either almost legal or downright illegal.


Jonathan is used to living with his father. Now, because his father is in trouble and has to hide, Jonathan is dropped off to live with his grandparents who have not seen him in more than six years. Jonathan and his grandparents don’t always get along at first, and Jonathan needs to decide in whose footsteps he is going to follow – those of his grandparents or those of his con artist father.

     Stand Your Ground is largely a story about finding your own identity. Jonathan has followed his father's lead in how to live and how to behave since his mother died six years before. When he has to live with his grandparents, Jonathan is exposed to a completely different way of life. Attending the same school, making real friends rather than just scamming people, and earning the trust of his grandparents are all challenges that Jonathan has to face.

     Jonathan is an interesting protagonist. His ambivalence about all aspects of his life, including his father and his grandparents, make him both intriguing and easy to relate to, especially for readers who are beginning to establish their own identity. Trying to decide what choices Jonathan will make and which path he will take, will keep readers engrossed in the book.

     Stand Your Ground was first published in 1994 and has been revised by Eric Walters for the 20th anniversary edition. This is an engaging and well-written book that will appeal to many readers now, just as it did when it was first published.


Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a graduate of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.

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

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.