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The Glory Wind

by Valerie Sherrard

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list price: $12.99
also available: Paperback
published: 2011
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Glory Wind

Eleven-year-old Luke’s vacation takes a vibrant turn when Gracie becomes his neighbour. Impulsive and imaginative, she is a perfect foil for Luke’s quiet dependability, and they become fast friends. When school begins, students vie for Gracie’s friendship, but attitudes change dramatically as rumours surface regarding her mother’s morality. Only Luke and one courageous teacher refuse to participate in Gracie’s subsequent persecution. Finally, just as life has new hope for Gracie, unspeakable tragedy strikes, literally from the skies. Luke watches in horror as his best friend is swept up by a tornado, never to be seen again.

The story, told by Luke, attempts to make sense of his terrible loss, his guilt over Gracie’s death and his failure to understand the cruelty of her tormentors. Throughout his quietly emotional narrative there is a sense of impending disaster, increased by seemingly unrelated but regular references to the nature of tornadoes. These devices create a suspenseful dramatic plot, but the action does not overwhelm the marvellous nuances of innocence and idealism that need to be savoured.

Set in the prairies during the 1940s, the ambience of time and place is aptly created, but what makes this book so great is the depth of human emotion that has no boundaries. Valerie Sherrard has created strong, clearly defined characters in Luke and Gracie, who live in your mind long after the story is finished. There are no easy solutions in this award-winning book, but the writing style and subject matter make this a thought-provoking and beautiful coming-of-age novel.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2011. Volume 34 No. 3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Glory Wind

Luke has never met anyone like Gracie before and they quickly become friends. When they start school in the fall, Gracie makes a wonderful impression upon the other children, but when the community finds out the truth about her mother’s past, they shun both of them. Luke bravely stands up for Gracie, but how will he handle the event that changes his life forever? Winner of the 2011 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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  • Winner, Ann Connor Brimer Award
  • Runner-up, CLA Book of the Year for Children
  • Winner, Independent Publisher Award (Bronze)
  • Short-listed, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
  • Short-listed, OLA Silver Birch
  • Winner, Geoffrey Bilson Award
  • Commended, TD Kids Book Club
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A young boy must come to terms with the moral prejudices of his small town in rural 1950s Ontario when he befriends the daughter of a young widow who moves in next door. Gracie is unlike anyone Luke has ever met - fun, charming, imaginative and full of life. But when the townsfolk discover that her mother's past is less than completely honourable, they set out to isolate both mother and daughter. This striking new novel from Valerie Sherrard explores themes of friendship, loyalty, hypocrisy, and forgiveness.

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About the Author

Valerie Sherrard

Valerie Sherrard contributed the voice of Avalon's mother. The author of more than two dozen books for young people (many of which have been nominated for or received awards), Valerie also happens to be Pamela's mom. She was delighted to collaborate on Pam's debut novel.
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