BECCA FAIR AND FOUL by Deirdre Baker


Age Range: 8 - 12
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There is more to this seemingly quiet account of a young girl’s seaside summer than meets the eye, including some fairly adventurous hijinks and occasional meaningful issues with which to cope.

Episodic adventures begin as Becca and her friend Jane attempt to sail out of the harbor by themselves for the first time; over the course of the season the girls try to raise money for a new boat by performing The Tempest, chafe at doing Gran’s chores, wonder about the romance between the island plumber and Aunt Fifi, and eventually decide to donate the play proceeds to charity. Interactions among the various cousins and friends are realistically done, although Becca is more developed as a character than the others; Jane remains a sidekick, the teenager cousin is one-notedly surly, and Gran is stereotypically curmudgeonly. The woodsy British Columbia setting provides an evocative backdrop for this sequel to Becca at Sea (2007), set across winter, spring, and summer. The era isn’t specified but seems some years bygone; no one has a cellphone, and activities are wholesomely summery: putting on the play, going to the beach, riding bikes, and exploring the woods.

Happily, the ending, in which the girls are presented with the hull of a small sailboat they’ll need to rig and equip in order to use, seems to signal more about Becca to come; perhaps in autumn next time. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-55498-957-7
Page count: 184pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2018