Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kid Konnection: A Forest of Gold by Courtney Maika

A Forest of Gold by Courtney Maika
Scholastic Canada
ISBN: 978-1443100465
Published Oct 1, 2011
Paperback, 176 pages

My daughter and I have just discovered a talented new and young author, who was just seventeen when she wrote this novel!

A Forest of Gold is written in diary format from the point of view of twelve-year old Emily who lives in Ontario, Canada in 1927. Canadian history really comes alive under her deft pen as Emily writes about school, her life on the farm and how her brother and father go work in the lumber camps to make up for the lack of farming during the cold winter months.

My daughter said she liked learning about life for a Canadian girl in the 1920s, and was able to relate to some of the situations and feelings Emily experienced. She also liked the history because it reminded her of what she learned at school. When the historical figure Étienne Brûlé is mentioned, my daughter knew he was a French explorer, and we recognized the region of Temiscaming because it borders within our province Quebec. The author effortlessly wove the story around the logging industry and the dilemma of her family when Emily's brother Joe runs off to the lumber camp against his father's wishes. We get to understand the dangers of this industry and the fierce independence of young men in those days.

My daughter and I really enjoyed reading this book together. Emily is a spunky character and her observations are keen and telling. Her father is from England but her mother's family is French Canadian. We really feel the author captured the culture of the era and the people.

Initially, we thought this was going to be an adventure book because of the book cover. Both my daughter and I think it's a great cover but it doesn't really suit the tone of the book. This book is more like the Dear Canada series, which we love reading. We wouldn't be surprised if this author one day enjoys the privilege of writing a book in that series. That says a lot. We look forward to reading more from this new and emerging author!

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: Middle Grade Book Challenge

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to Nikole Kritikos from Scholastic for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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  1. This sounds like a great way to find out more about Canadian history! Thanks for highlighting this!

  2. I love books written in a diary format and I'm so impressed that the author is so young!

  3. I love the diary format on this one. will have to look it up and add it to my middle school shelves! Glad that you read it together!

  4. I think I'd really like this one, but I have a hard time getting Booking Daughter to read historical fiction.


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