Papergirl – By Melinda McCracken with Penelope Jackson


Goodreads Synopsis: Ten-year-old Cassie lives with her working-class family in 1919 Winnipeg. The Great War and Spanish Influenza have taken their toll, and workers in the city are frustrated with low wages and long hours. When they orchestrate a general strike, Cassie — bright, determined and very bored at school — desperately wants to help.

She begins volunteering for the strike committee as a papergirl, distributing the strike bulletin at Portage and Main, and from her corner, she sees the strike take shape. Threatened and taunted by upper-class kids and hungrier by the day, Cassie soon realizes that the strike isn’t just a lark — it’s a risky and brave movement.

With her impoverished best friend, Mary, volunteering in the nearby Labour Cafe, and Cassie’s police officer brother in the strike committee’s inner circle, Cassie becomes increasingly furious about the conditions that led workers to strike.

When an enormous but peaceful demonstration turns into a violent assault on Bloody Saturday, Cassie is changed forever. Lively and engaging, this novel is a celebration of solidarity, justice and one brave papergirl. 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

When reading middle grade books I try really hard to keep in mind the age group, how I felt when I was that age and also what I think my future kids would enjoy. And because I love historical fiction I was really hoping I’d enjoy this book.

Sadly right away I found that the writing style dragged, sounding similar to a slightly older first reader book. The sentence structure and the narration was just too young sounding for the type of book that this was supposed to be. And I just never got into the story or Cassie. I felt like the character development was really lacking, too much telling and not enough showing.

So I ended up quitting this book about 20% in. Maybe others will have better luck with it than I.  In the end I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.

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