Hawk and Stretch


196 pages
ISBN 0-590-74814-9
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Jean Free

Jean Free, formerly an elementary-school teacher-librarian, is currently
a library consultant in Ontario.


Danny (Hawk) Thunder, a Mohawk Indian, and Billy (Stretch) Thomson
strike up an unlikely friendship in their Grade 7 year. Hawk is strong,
defeats the school bully easily, and has a mother who is an
unconventional cook and a father who is a bootlegger. Stretch’s family
includes a worrywort mother and a strict father—the traditional
Ontario home of 1943.

Bea/Booky of Hunter’s earlier books is now married to Lorne Huntly,
an overseas aircraft navigator. This story catches the spirit of wartime
Canada, a period of excitement, patriotism, and worry for loved ones in
Europe. Hunter has a fine eye for detail as she writes of white-sugar
sandwiches, listening to the Happy Gang, refrigerators with the motor on
the top, victory gardens, and ditty bags—all aspects of family life in
the Toronto suburb of Swansea.

Hawk and Stretch will appeal to 11- to 13-year-old readers. It could
supplement a unit on war for intermediate students and lead to
discussions on schoolyard relationships, choosing friends, and different
lifestyles. Hunter is a skilful writer who has told an absorbing story
that will be enjoyed as much by readers unfamiliar with her work as by
her established following. Highly recommended.


Hunter, Bernice Thurman., “Hawk and Stretch,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/20423.