A Forest of Suspicion


93 pages
ISBN 2-89435-013-9
DDC jC843'.54





Illustrations by Lise Monette
Translated by Frances Morgan
Reviewed by Susan Manningham

Susan Manningham teaches sociology at Queen’s University in Kingston.


The first in a series of junior nature books by Josée Plourde, these
environmentally correct books are based on the adventures of three
children—Alex, Stephanie, and Andrea.

In Forest of Suspicion, this trio, buoyed by the love and support of
their terminally happy, well-adjusted, and gainfully employed families,
take on the forces of evil manifested in those who do not respect the
woods. The children help their conservation officer father uncover the
mystery of who is responsible for raccoon poaching, and in the process
convert an unenlightened group of children to the ways of the woods. The
story is informative and healthy, but borders on the pedantic.

Penelope’s Eyes continues the development of these central characters
and further expands the family circle, but it remains somewhat
self-conscious in its message. Penelope is a Seeing-Eye dog, about to
embark on her life’s work, with whom Andrea forms an impossible
attachment. Her change from a child who is willing to run away from home
in the middle of winter in order to keep her much-loved new animal
friend to one who forsakes this friendship for the greater good is great
Disney-type fare, as is the happy-ever-after ending. For the preteen
reader (but not the cynical and/or urban child). Recommended with


Plourde, Josée., “A Forest of Suspicion,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/20454.