A Question of Loyalty


185 pages
ISBN 0-590-71450-3





Reviewed by Jerry McDonnell

Jerry McDonnell was a teacher and librarian the F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham, Ontario.


Many accounts of William Lyon Mackenzie’s abortive 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada speak of the participants fleeing to the United States in the aftermath, but usually no further detail is given. The fugitives’ stories must have been both interesting and dangerous.

Dan, the fugitive in this story, has been dragged into the fight by his brother. During their flight through the Niagara Peninsula, they must separate; the wounded and exhausted Dan takes refuge in the barn of a loyalist farm family. Deborah, the daughter of the family, looks after Dan although she is torn by conflicting loyalties and troubled by her betrayal of family political convictions.

Eventually the whole family must decide between politics and humanitarianism, and the happy ending comes only after many adventures and several years.

Barbara Greenwood has produced a well-written juvenile novel that does a very good job of presenting a moral and political dilemma in human dimensions.



Greenwood, Barbara, “A Question of Loyalty,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37526.