Booky: A Trilogy


484 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 0-590-12486-2
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings, a former elementary-school teacher-librarian with the
Durham Board of Education, is an educational consultant.


Reading Booky: A Trilogy, which contains Hunter’s three novels That
Scatterbrain Booky (1981), With Love From Booky (1983), and As Ever,
Booky (1985), is as much of a treat today as it was almost two decades
ago when the books were first published. An added bonus to this new
edition is the inclusion of the related short story, “Visitors from

Hunter’s characters come to life on the pages of her books. Like so
many others during the Great Depression, Beatrice “Booky”
Thomson’s father is out of work. Existing on “pogey” plus whatever
odd jobs Dad can find, the Thomsons are short on money, and they
struggle to make ends meet. Despite the lack of material things, lively,
engaging Booky and her siblings are, if nothing else, resourceful and
find plenty of ways to occupy and entertain themselves—not always
managing to keep out of trouble in the process. Based on the author’s
own experiences as a child growing up in Toronto during the 1920s and
1930s, the Booky stories are rich in detail of city life and the tough
times endured by so many.

The Booky novels should be (if they are not already) part of every
public- and school-library collection and be required reading along with
other Canadian “classics.” Curriculum connections are numerous, the
most obvious being to Canadian history.

The photographs and illustrations from Eaton’s archives add to and
clarify the text. Future editions, however, would benefit from a
glossary or even labeled diagrams. Increasingly fewer readers—children
or adults—know what a “Thor” is or can identify a “treadle” on
a sewing machine. Highly recommended.


Hunter, Bernice Thurman., “Booky: A Trilogy,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 25, 2024,