Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Grade: 7 to 12
Will Ben ever escape the Landing? The hardscrabble farm on the shores of Lake Muskoka can't generate a living, so Ben's Uncle Henry sells goods and gas to cottagers from the dock known as Cooks Landing. It had never been much of a living and since the Depression hit, it's even less. Ben's thinking a lot these days, and it's making him miserable. He's thinking about how unfair it is that his uncle only cares about work. He's thinking about what he really wants to do: play the violin. These days, he's lucky to snatch the odd bit of practice between chores, playing to the chickens in the henhouse. A new job fixing up the grand old cottage on nearby Pine Island seems at first to be just one more thing to keep Ben away from his violin. After he meets the island's owner, Ben changes his mind. Ruth Chapman is a cultured and wealthy woman from New York who introduces Ben to an unfamiliar, liberating world. After Ben plays violin for Ruth and her admiring friends, it only makes him more desperate to flee. Then, during a stormy night on Lake Muskoka, everything changes.
About the author
Darrell Bricker is the CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs. Prior to joining Ipsos Reid, Bricker was director of public-opinion research in the office of the prime minister. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Carleton University and is the co-author (with Edward Greenspon) of Searching for Certainty: Inside the New Canadian Mindset. He is the co-author, with John Wright, of What Canadians Think About Almost Everything. Follow Darrell on Twitter @darrellbricker.
- Short-listed, White Pine Award, Ontario Library Association
- Winner, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
- Winner, Outstanding International Book, USBBY
- Winner, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
- Winner, Best Bet for Children and Teens, Ontario Library Association
- Winner, Governor General’s Literary Award, children’s text, Canada Council for the Arts
This novel, like Lake Muskoka, is deep. Character-driven, suspenseful, and historically accurate, it is both realistic and symbolic.
... a well-written coming-of-age novel ...
Other titles by John Ibbitson
The Shock of Global Population Decline
The Big Shift
The Seismic Change In Canadian Politics, Business
Open and Shut
Why America Has Barack Obama, and Canada Has Stephen Harper
Multiculturalism and Rights in Canada
The Polite Revolution
Perfecting the Canadian Dream