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list price: $10.95
edition:Paperback
published: Apr 2008
ISBN:9781553800569
publisher: Ronsdale Press

Girl in the Back Seat, The

by Norma Charles

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5 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $10.95
edition:Paperback
published: Apr 2008
ISBN:9781553800569
publisher: Ronsdale Press
Description

In this fast-paced, on-the-road young adult novel, Norma Charles once again manages to include provocative social issues in an adventure story that will appeal to children from age twelve and up. Charles takes on the issue of young girls being forced to marry older men in polygamist religious communities. She also explores the issues surrounding mixed-race families. Fifteen-year-old Jacob Armstrong is disgruntled that his mother has decided that the whole family must accompany his sister, Minerva, to her new university on a road trip all the way from Vancouver to Winnipeg. The only saving grace is that he and Minerva get to drive in a peppy little Mini, away from the rest of the embarrassingly crazy family in the family van - which includes their step-father, Fred Finkle, and his two sons, Barney, a stand up comedian-wanna-be, and Sam, an eleven-year-old dinosaur expert. But before they leave BC, Minerva and Jacob are shocked to discover a stowaway in the backseat of their Mini. It's a girl dressed in old-fashioned clothes and desperate to escape from her home and get to Winnipeg. She begs the siblings not only to take her with them, but asks them to keep her presence in the backseat a secret. Where, they ask, has she come from? Why is she so desperate to escape? And just who is after her? And why? The Girl in the Backseat is a novel that takes you on an urgent journey across the prairies where Jacob uncovers some uncomfortable truths about himself and his attitude towards people who are different. It also explores how tolerance, understanding and a positive sense of self-worth can grow and develop from unexpected encounters.

About the Author

Norma Charles has written numerous books for kids, including The Accomplice, nominated for the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize. Norma has been a teacher and a teacher-librarian and has taught Creative Writing at UBC. For more information, visit www.normacharles.ca.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Norma Charles is the author of many books for children including the Moonbeam Bronze Medal Award winner The Girl in the Backseat, and the Chocolate Lily Award winner All the Way to Mexico. Norma now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

The Girl in the Backseat

This family’s summer road trip becomes suspenseful when a thirteen-year-old stowaway is discovered by the teenage sister and brother of a blended family, who are driving in one of the two family cars on their holiday from Vancouver to Winnipeg. The runaway is a beaten, terrified girl from a strict religious sect in the BC Kootenays who realizes she is to be shipped to the US branch of the group to be wedded to “The Prophet,” their elderly polygamous leader. As they cross the prairies, the two siblings not only have to deal with some racism being directed at them, but are faced with a moral dilemma. Their stowaway begs them not to inform their parents and the police. Resolution occurs in dramatic fashion.

Charles’ Sophie Sea to Sea won the BC Book Award in 2000 and All the Way to Mexico won the Chocolate Lily Award in 2005.

Caution: Includes violence and racism.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2008-2009.

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