________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 20 . . . . June 5, 1998

cover Hold On, McGinty!

Nancy Hartry. Illustrated by Don Kilby.
Toronto, ON: Doubleday Canada, 1997.
32 pp, hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 0-385-25647-7.

Subject Headings:
Dories (Boats)-Juvenile fiction.
Fishers-Newfoundland and Labrador-Juvenile fiction.
Moving, Household-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1 - 5 / Ages 6 - 10.
Review by Gail Hamilton.

**** /4


McGinty could not sleep. He put on his red corduroy slippers and his plaid wool robe and scuffled down the stony trail to talk to the Heart's Content.

McGinty paced up and down "I am hungry," he said. "And look at you, my girl - you're peeling and drying out."

He sat on a rock. "You are old and I am old. We have been together a long time. What shall we do?"

image Distinctly Canadian in its content, this book tells the story of Old McGinty, who has fished the coastal waters of Newfoundland from his dory, the Heart's Content, for over 60 years. Man and boat are inseparable. As the supply of fish becomes increasingly scarce, McGinty ponders his future. His granddaughter, Molly, who lives in British Columbia, urges him to move to the west coast. After much soul-searching, McGinty decides to pick up stakes, and so he buys an airline ticket to Toronto for himself and arranges train freight for the Heart's Content. As part of his final preparations for the long journey, McGinty fills an old teapot to the brim with Atlantic seawater and sets it on the bottom of the dory. In Toronto, he anxiously awaits the boat's arrival. Finding the Heart's Content at the rail terminal, McGinty stows away on the boat and then makes the remainder of his cross-Canada jaunt with her. Finally, the pair arrive in B.C. where McGinty resumes the kind of life he loves - fishing. He pours the water from the teapot into the Pacific Ocean and belts out "a prayer of hope for the fish of Newfoundland."

      Hartry's text has a distinct, nautical flavour. From the book's onset, readers can empathize with McGinty whose whole life has revolved around his job and the sea. The author's use of simple vocabulary, relatively short sentences, and an even balance between narrative text and conversation moves the story along.

      Kilby's realistic illustrations, rendered in coloured pencils on coloured papers, offer readers several picture postcard snapshots of the varied and beautiful Canadian scenery. Close-ups of McGinty's face show real emotion as McGinty considers his future and makes preparations to leave his Newfoundland home. A map of Canada on the inside cover of the book traces McGinty's cross-Canada route.

      Teachers can use the book to complement their students' study of Canada and/or to stimulate discussion about the east coast's depleting fish stocks and overfishing.

      A strong story, and one that makes readers proud to be Canadian.

Highly recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, Manitoba.

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

Copyright © 1998 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