CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 20 . . . . June 8, 2001
In the morning, gray light filled the cabin. The fire had died down to embers, and my cheeks and nose were cold.The year is 1835, and Ellie is trying to become a proper pioneer. She can't bake bread as well as her mother could, but she is determined to look after her brother and father. She is still afraid of many things, notably wild animals and Indians. She soldiers on, however, and undergoes a true test of courage when her father doesn't return from a hunting trip.
This sequel to Ellie's New Home is a smoothly paced beginning reader. The story, which does not require a previous familiarity with Ellie, reads quickly, introducing Ellie as a well-rounded character who is determined to help her father and settle her family into their new home. She is not perfect: her scorched bread and fear of their Indian visitors serve to make her into a more sympathetic character. The plot builds slowly, emphasizing the hardships Ellie's family undergoes, before requiring Ellie to make an important decision and face all of her fears. This book will be popular with young girls looking for an accessible book featuring a strong female character.
Betsy Fraser is a Librarian with Calgary Public Library.
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