Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

First days at school are always scary

  • Print

The Pocket Mommy (Tundra, 32 pages, $18 hardcover) by Ottawa author Rachel Eugster, with artwork by Ontario artist Tom Goldwater, will resonate with kindergarten students.

When Samuel doesn't want to remain in school without his mommy, she offers to become small and stay in his pocket for the day. But he's not prepared for the trouble Mommy causes: knocking off books, falling into flour and correcting his art work.

By the end of the day he's happy to insist that Mommy stay home. Goldwater's watercolour artwork makes an attractive addition to the text.

-- -- --

First-graders will enjoy Noni Is Nervous by Toronto TV host and author Heather Hartt-Sussman (Tundra, 24 pages, $20 hardcover).

Noni is worried about her first day of school. She bites her nails and twirls her hair as she wonders if her teacher will be mean, if she'll spill her juice box, if she might have an accident. But when all goes well, it is her mother and father who are nervous and bite their nails.

Hartt-Sussman is known for such children's titles as Nana's Getting Married and Here Comes Hortense! Award-winning artist Genevi®ve C¥t© of Montreal has added simple but sensitive illustrations.

-- -- --

Gloria Ann Wesley is a Halifax writer and poet whose work has mainly centred on stories of black settlers in Nova Scotia. Her latest young-adult novel, If This Is Freedom, published on the Roseway imprint of Winnipeg's Fernwood Publishing (272 pages, $20 paperback), tells the story of Sara Cooper, who accepted the promise of land and protection to those who had stayed loyal to Britain in the American Revolutionary war, moved from American territory and relocated to an area called Birchtown on the outskirts of Shelburne, N.S.

However, reality soon proves the promises false. The land is poor, supplies are scarce and the only work available is of the most menial kind.

Sara has signed an indenture agreement with the Blyes, a wealthy, unscrupulous couple. In a plot reminiscent of Les Mis©rables, when her wages are withheld she steals a loaf of bread to feed her family, a deed that leads to unimaginable consequences.

If This Is Freedom (being released Oct. 1) is not an easy book to read. There are many instances of bad faith and unnecessary hardship. The almost death-bed conversion to decency of the Blyes seems both too late and too unlikely.

Wesley has told an honest tale of a very difficult period in Nova Scotia history. While Sara is a heroine of courage and determination, her efforts here seem destined to have very little positive outcome.

-- -- --

The Path of Names, a first novel by Vancouver author Ari Goelman (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 340 pages, $19 hardcover), is about a maze. Not since Carol Shields' Larry's Party has this deliberately confusing arrangement of greenery and paths held such a prominent role in a novel.

However, Goelman's maze is magic and has somehow trapped the souls of two little girls who wandered into it years before.

Half fantasy and half realism, his story contains ancient Jewish lore and a number of sacred Hebrew words. The narrator, 13-year-old Dahlia Sherman, has been sent to a summer camp to learn more about the Hebrew religion and language.

As she deals with ghosts and golems, and children possibly disappearing into the maze, this book might just become a late-night thriller for future campers.

-- -- --

In my August review of Sue MacLeod's novel Namesake, I mistakenly attributed Lady Jane Grey's death to a command of Henry VIII. She was executed at the order of Henry's daughter, Mary, in 1554.

 

Winnipeg writer Helen Norrie's column appears on the third weekend of the month.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 21, 2013 A1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Manitoba support the transport of nuclear waste through the province?

View Results

Ads by Google