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Children's LiteratureThe setting of this story is rural Maine near the Canadian border. The time is November, 1937. The story is about young boy, Ben, who is allowed to accompany his Uncle Horace on a trip to ferry supplies up the Allagash River to a lumber camp. The story is essentially a travelogue of the eight-day trip, illustrated by pencil drawings of characters and places seen along the way. The dialogue of the characters is colorful and believable. The author includes much information about boating and the gear used and the work that it took to get goods into rural places by water. The book also includes drawings, and illustrations of technical terms and equipment. However, this book is truly a set of connected anecdotes rather than a story. The characters are well-described but not well-developed. There is no conflict, and no change in Ben, the main character, throughout the book. Instead, the author uses the story as a vehicle for sharing a great deal of information which, while interesting, is not engaging as a plot. However, this book could be useful as an instructional tool in a lesson on the history of this colorful area and period in history. 2003, Down East Books, Ages 8 to 12.
— Barbara Allen Burke