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Introduction: Former Death Machine biker Billy Bones grabs Liz Austen's arm and whispers: The password . . . is . . . NOEL. Remember it! Remember it? How could she forget?? That one word launches an unforgettable road trip across Saskatchewan aboard the Manana Banana and plunges Liz and her Metis friend, Marie, into a deadly world of kidnapping, international smuggling, and biker gangs with murder on their minds. The question is: will the girls elude the bikers' clutches and escape the dangers of Big Muddy? Eric Wilson novels excite the imagination of young readers in grades 6 - 8. Appealing to children's inherent keen interest in mystery, Eric Wilson has skilfully woven accurate Canadian geographic and historic information into his writing. He also touches on current social and political issues in many of his novels. As such, these novels lend themselves to the integrated study of the mystery genre with Canadian geography topics in social studies and investigation units in science. Escape From Big Muddy provides rich material for the study of setting, characterization and plot development. It can be used independently or as an introduction to the other novels in the series, thereby providing a national setting within which the regional stories come together to make a whole. The varying levels of difficulty in the novels provide opportunity to accomodate individual student ability, experience and interests. Students can supplement the package with meaningful research which will strengthen the impact of their work. They will take great delight in finding information on the Internet that directly links to the places or events in the novels. Every province, territory and most cities have up-to-date information available on an Internet website. Escape From Big Muddy has 2 separate issues that could be explored: smoking as a health issue and the Metis people's self-identity. An art extension project could be to make dream catchers. The supplies are readily available in local craft shops.
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