Boat Ride


64 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88823-108-3





Illustrations by Thach Bui
Reviewed by Sheila Martindale

Sheila Martindale is poetry editor of Canadian Author and Bookman and
author of No Greater Love, her sixth collection of poetry.


Dialogue is one of the most difficult things to write. Reproducing the speech patterns of today’s twelve-year-old is a challenge that not every writer is equal to, but Cecilia Mavrow does it very convincingly. Her young characters sound like real people, and we are able to identify readily with the protagonist Tim, or “Spuds,” as he is known by his cousins. Two weeks on Denman Island does not sound like a dream come true for our Vancouver hero, and it is with reluctance that he is shipped off to stay with his aunt, uncle, and family at their rural retreat. Aunt Lucy is obsessed with health food, his older male cousins are apparently better at everything than Spuds is, and the thought of spending time with eleven-year-old Suzy and her friends does not appeal to him. How he adapts, survives, and even enjoys the vacation is the essence of the book. Written with a light, humourous touch, and nicely illustrated by Thach Bui, Boat Ride is a delightful story.


Mavrow, Cecilia, “Boat Ride,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 12, 2024,