Izzie: The Christmas That Almost Wasn't


80 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 0-14-100272-7
DDC jC813'.54




Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


After a month of submarine scares, food rationing, and the worst
blizzard in decades, young Izzie Publicover thought that December 1941
had finally run out of rude surprises. She was wrong. On the day of
“good will to all men,” Izzie and her family come face to face with
the enemy.

This book, the latest volume in the Our Canadian Girl series, looks at
Canadian history as experienced by a young girl. The setting is a small
farm near Halifax during World War II. Budge Wilson does a fine job of
making the main characters completely believable by showing them in both
good and bad moments. Like most people living on the home front, Izzie
often feels resentful about the inconveniences caused by the war. When
Izzie and her family take a rare trip to Halifax, their visit is spoiled
because the movie house, the trolleys, and even their favorite
restaurant are all crowded with strangers in uniform. When Izzie and her
brother start to complain, they are surprised by an angry outburst from
their father, who reminds them that the strangers are on their way to
war and that many will never return. Izzie’s biggest revelation about
war occurs after she sees a German prisoner being brought ashore after
his ship has been sunk. To her surprise, the much hated and feared enemy
is just another human being who experiences pain, loneliness, and fear
just like Izzie. Highly recommended.


Wilson, Budge., “Izzie: The Christmas That Almost Wasn't,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/23597.