The Quarter-Pie Window Paperback – May 6 2003
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Gr. 6-8. This winner of the 1986 Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award, available for the first time in the U.S., is set in Upper Canada in 1830. After the death of their parents, 14-year-old Emma and her younger brother, John, go to live in York with Mrs. McPhail, a "rather frightening" aunt they barely know. John works in a livery stable, while Emma labors as a chambermaid in her aunt's hotel. Despite her loneliness and the difficulties of her new situation, Emma struggles to maintain her dignity and her hopes. The plot thickens when Emma learns that Mrs. McPhail has connived to profit from the sale of her wards' old home, but readers expecting a lightning bolt of justice to strike her down for villainy will find, instead, a more subtle and more realistic end to the story. The relatively slow pace of the third-person narrative provides a chance to get to know Emma well, making her story more compelling. Handsome wood engravings appear at the chapter headings. Carolyn Phelan
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“Readers are completely swept up in the historic richness of this novel…This is an excellent novel which truly makes readers feel a part of 1830 York society and keeps them turning the pages…Highly Recommended.”
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