I went into this one looking for a fast paced and educational book all about an event in Canadian history that I didn’t know much about, and that’s exactly what I got. I remember briefly learning about the Winnipeg Strike and Bloody Saturday in school but it wasn’t a topic that was covered at length (and I was in school quite a while ago) so I was curious to learn more about it, especially in the form of a middle grade story.
The book follows our main character Cassie and the strike unfolds around her, and the affects that it has on not only her but also her family, close friends and the community she’s apart of. It’s not a story that flows like most fiction, but I think that’s what makes it so good. It’s a book that’s here to tell you the facts and the feelings surrounding the strikes and it does that wonderfully. Watching the way everything happens through the eyes of Cassie makes it an easier story to digest while still giving you all the details you need in order to fully understand what a massive event this was in Canadian history.
The area that Cassie lives, and the corner where she sells her papers are vivid and really give you a feel for what the city might have looked like 100 years ago. I also liked the different characters we encounter, but I think that Freddy was my favourite. The story is all about people fighting for what they need in order to make their lives better and I really loved that he wasn’t made a villain for doing what he needed to in order to look after his family.
I also really enjoyed the ending of the book, the story explains why the strikes happened and shows you how long they lasted and how extreme they got but unfortunately it wasn’t an immediate success. Even though it took decades more for the full effects to be put in place the story still ends with hope, and I think it was done beautifully.
Overall I really really loved reading this book. I learned something about my country that I didn’t really learn about in school, and I got to meet some pretty awesome new characters along the way. If you’re looking for an education middle grade story then I’d pick this one up!
— DeeReadsThings, March 2019