Sarah's Stars

Marthe Jocelyn. Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance
Tundra  $14.99  ISBN 0-88776-767-2  250 pg.
Reviewed by Darcy, Age 12

As soon as Viola had announced the routine, an urgent hand shot into the air. 

“Cathy Forrest?”

“We are accustomed to arithmetic after lunch, Miss Riley.”

“I believe your minds are sharper in the morning,” said Miss Riley.

“This will not please my mother,” said Cathy Forrest. 

“Then she had best not attend Grade Five at Sellerton School,” said Miss Riley.  “Shall we proceed?”

Marthe Jocelyn has captured the mood of the story quite well. This book of hers is written in the form of a diary. With it being written in this way, you really get to know and understand the main character, which in this case is Mable Riley.

Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance is about Mable Riley, who has come to Sellerton, Ontario, with her sister, Miss Viola Riley, so that Viola can teach at the local school. Everything is going well for them, they are staying on the Goodhand farm, most of the parents are happy with how Viola teaches, plus Mable has found a friend in Elizabeth, after some conflict. Then Mable befriends Mrs. Cora Rattle, a very opinionated and energetic lady. Mrs. Rattle works for Mr. Forrest at his cheese factory, but when she becomes unhappy with the working conditions, Mable gets caught up in it and soon the trouble starts. Will Mable be able to hold her opinions to herself and not cause any more trouble? Or will she step up to protest alongside with Mrs. Rattle?

I would recommend Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance to anyone from the ages of 11 to 15. This is a historical fiction novel so you have to keep in mind that some things were a bit different back then. Overall, this was a good book.

Mable Riley deserves three and one half stars.


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