Sarah's Stars

Alistair MacLeod. To Every Thing There Is a Season
McClelland & Stewart  $19.99  ISBN 0-7710-55-65-X  44 pg.
Reviewed by Rachael, Age 12

As the middle child of a family of six eager children awaits the arrival of the most anticipated day of the year, he discovers that his oldest brother, Neil, will be arriving home to Cape Breton. Will he arrive in time for Christmas? Will our eleven-year-old narrator finally leave childhood to his younger siblings, and join the rest of the family in the role of helping out Santa?

Alistair MacLeod was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, though he was raised by his extended family in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Throughout the summers, he vacations in Inverness County, always taking time to write in the peace and serenity of his cliff-side cabin. He has worked as a professor of English, until his recent retirement of 2000. He has written a grand total of fourteen short stories in his career. His first, No Great Mischief, received the IMPAC Award in Dublin, along with many other awards.

Peter Rankin is the illustrator of this tale. He was born in Cape Breton, and grew up in Mabou Harbour, in a family of FOURTEEN kids!!! In high school Peter’s art became a hit, and some of it got published. As he grew older, he took his Bachelor's Degree, and moved to Halifax. Soon after, he had become a professional artist. Presently, he lives in Mabou Coal Mines with his wife, and five children.

To Every Thing There is a Season‚ is a very enjoyable short story; for readers age 9 to 99 this richly illustrated book makes a fine little gift! Though, I would chiefly recommend it for ages 10 through 14, as it would be too complex for younger ages to read. I thought this book was very detailed and convincing, though I thought it lacked a good-quality conclusion. It leaves you hanging quite a bit. And as this is not a series, there’s nothing to pull it all together at the end.

This story is short and sweet. As such, I give To Every Thing There is a Season 3.5 stars.


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