Sarah's Stars

John Wilson. Red Goodwin
Ronsdale Press  $9.95  ISBN 1-55380-034-6  170 pg.

Reviewed by
Melissa, Age 13

“Why don’t you leave?”

Morag laughed again, but this time there was a hard, bitter edge to it. “Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Jimmy is Chinese and I’m a woman. Neither are characteristics that help us make an independent way in this world.”

Will Ryan is living with his Grandparents until he is packed up and sent away to his Uncle who is a mine boss, over seas. Will can’t understand why they would do this to him. First his father dies in World War One, and then he is sent away to the wild. He soon meets two people his age. One who became a wonderful friend, named Jimmy Wong. And the other was a beautiful girl he fell madly in love with named Morag Mclean. This girl is not all the innocence she appears to be when he finds out that she is helping a traitor living in the woods, named Red Goodwin, better known as Ginger. Racism and wars are now a main part in his life, be it between the miners and their bosses or between Germany and Britain.

This is one of the most creative ways of approaching historical events in a novel that I have seen in a long time. The characters were some you would want to be friends with yourself. They are very well done, and the way John brings in Ginger - is truly authentic. He is a very optimistic character, with a creative outlook. He is portrayed as a simple life hero, perfectly in Red Goodwin. I have to say that the story line was full of feeling. Will Ryan’s emotions were uncontrolled and hard to keep hidden. It seemed like a real teenagers problems, even if it was so many years ago.

The imagery that the author gives is great and something that I can cherish. Taking this story straight to heart, I felt the tragedy, and man, was I shocked. A book well done, and I want to express my thanks to John Wilson for taking the time to write the novel. This would be a very good story for ages ten and up at least.

Five stars are his to keep! I loved the book, and I hope to read many more from this author. Considering this is the first of his books I have read, he made a very good first impression.

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