A Hole in the Hedge


215 pages
ISBN 0-929141-99-7
DDC jC813'.6




Reviewed by Dosi Cotroneo

Dosi Cotroneo is a freelance writer living in Manotick, Ontario.


Twelve year-old Kaitlin’s mother has recently died of cancer. Her
stepmother, Jane, is trying to reach out to her, but Kaitlin doesn’t
want Jane stepping into her mom’s shoes. (A new bra, lipstick, and
eyelash curler prove to be a good icebreaker, though.) Her best friend,
Tracy, is falling apart because her own parents have split up. Her young
half-sister, Anna, is extremely annoying. But all this pales next to her
troubles with Michael.

When they were young children, Kaitlin and Michael were inseparable
pals. Then one day at the playground, Michael, in the company of his
friends, deliberately ignored her. Now that Kaitlin is in Grade 7 and
Michael is in Grade 8, their paths cross continually. Michael has
apologized to her several times since the incident, but Kaitlin just
wants to get back at him by making his life miserable every chance she
gets. She devises a plan that works and gets her revenge, but with
little satisfaction. Did she really want to alienate Michael? (Even her
friends have said that he’s “kind of cute.”) Or is it that she has
a crush on him and cannot admit her true feelings for him? Eventually,
Kaitlin learns that Michael isn’t her enemy after all.

A Hole in the Hedge contains all the elements that will appeal to
preteen readers—romance, scheming, getting even, forgiveness, and
self-discovery. Kaitlin’s journey into adolescence is real, often
humorous, and—when she reads a letter that her mother wrote to her
before her death —poignant. Casselman has written a fine coming-of-age
story that will be most enjoyed by preteen girls. Highly recommended.


Casselman, Grace., “A Hole in the Hedge,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/24001.