Winner of the 1999 Canadian Governor General's Award
It is 1777, and 15-year-old Phoebe Olcott is thrown headlong into the turmoil of war when her beloved cousin Gideon is hanged for being a British spy. When she finds a secret message from Gideon, containing the names of Loyalist families to be protected by the King's soldiers, she decides to deliver it to the British general at Fort Ticonderoga. Thus begins an enthralling wilderness journey, where Phoebe is accompanied by a cat, a bear cub, and Jem Morrissay, a young Loyalist heading to British Canada himself. Award-winning author Janet Lunn has brought a little-known piece of our history to vivid life.
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Janet Lunn is one of Canada's most well-known authors. Her novels include the best-selling ALA Notable Book The Root Cellar.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-9-Neither patriot nor Tory, Phoebe finds herself caught between conflicting loyalties. After her father is killed fighting for freedom with the rebels, the 15-year-old lives with her Loyalist relatives in the mountains along the Vermont/New Hampshire border. Her eldest cousin Gideon, who serves as a British scout, is caught and hanged in the village after he secretly returns. Phoebe's sense of love and duty compels her to try to complete Gideon's dangerous mission, and she sets out for Fort Ticonderoga through the wilderness. Her journey becomes a voyage of self-discovery as well as of survival. As the Loyalist families become increasingly persecuted, the teen joins the refugees heading to Canada for safety. She struggles to do what is right and stay true to herself, in the face of mistrust from her cousin Anne and other refugees who hold her father's "betrayal" against her. Lunn provides an eye-opening glimpse into a different aspect of this period than many readers will have encountered. Engaging, suspenseful, well-written historical fiction with excellent characterizations and a well-paced plot.
Robin L. Gibson, Muskingum County Library System, Zanesville, OH
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Book Description Knopf Canada, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0394280741