The Girl from Away


92 pages
ISBN 1-55013-428-0
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Malcolm Cullen
Reviewed by Kim Van Vliet

Kim Van Vliet is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.


Thirteen-year-old Andrea Baxter is being sent to Newfoundland from
Toronto to spend Christmas with relatives while her mother goes to
Florida on a honeymoon with her new husband, Brad. Andrea is resentful
of this arrangement, and of Brad’s new status in her mother’s life.
She is further disappointed to discover that her Uncle Cyril won’t be
there. However, her Aunt Pearl, cousins Jeff and Matthew, and other
inhabitants of Anderson’s Arm, Newfoundland, provide distractions and
adventure. While out “mummering,” in the old tradition, Andrea and
her cousins discover a beached pilot whale. As the community tries to
rescue the whale, Andrea faces some of her own fears and prejudices. She
returns to Toronto and her rearranged family with newfound confidence,
independence, and compassion.

This is a handsome publication with nicely done black-and-white
illustrations. The writing is basic and the story flows smoothly. On the
down side, I would not recommend it for an avid reader. The story is
thin and the characters never quite come alive. My 8-year-old would
gobble this dainty down in an hour without a second thought.


Mowat, Claire., “The Girl from Away,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,