It's the Hungry Thirties and Bonnie's family has been hit hard by the Depression. Relocating from their farm in Massasaga to Lang, Ontario, is supposed to give them a fresh start. But Lang soon presen
It's the Hungry Thirties and Bonnie's family has been hit hard by the Depression. Relocating from their farm in Massasaga to Lang, Ontario, is supposed to give them a fresh start. But Lang soon presents its own set of challenges for Bonnie and her family as they learn to adapt to their new surroundings - and get by with less.
For Bonnie, settling into her new school is an uphill battle. Still, in spite of an unsympathetic teacher and a few malicious schoolyard bullies, a series of small victories soon sets Bonnie onto a new path of success. After a devastating scarlet fever epidemic, a headlice infestation, and a skating incident gone dangerously wrong, Bonnie's classmates soon realize that this spirited newcomer has more than enough gumption and courage to become an invaluable member of their community.
On the home front, Bonnie's family must be resourceful if they are going to put food on the table. Their hopes rest on a precious clutch of chickens carefully hatched in their living room and then sheltered in an outdoor shed. Disaster strikes when the shed door blows open in a storm and their young chickens are trampled by a stampeding sow. At the urging of her new friends, Bonnie enters a regional spelling bee in the hopes that the cash prize will be enough to replace the lost poultry and save her family.
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"Eat up, Bonnie. You're too thin. You need all the strength you can get."
"Sorry, Mum. I'm just not hungry anymore!" Bonnie looked down at the blob of mashed turnips and the fried fish parry on her plate.
"It doesn't matter whether you're hungry or not. You need to eat."
"Please, Mum, couldn't we have something else besides suckerballs and turnips? Maybe an orange once in a while?"
The minute she said the word "orange," Bonnie knew it was a mistake.
"Oranges are expensive," said Dad. "We simply can't afford them."
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"The strength of this novel is in the details, and they bring the era alive in a believable way. Rural Ontario is vibrantly described - the flowers, rivers and landscape, the style of dress and food and the atmosphere of a one-room schoolhouse. There are memorable scenes of the humiliation of getting lice, a chimney fire at school, a spelling bee and avoiding the game warden. The other strength is the character of Bonnie who is smart, obstinate, a little out of control."
-- CM Magazine
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Connie Brummel Crook
is a popular author of Canadian historical fiction for young people, including The Hungry Year, Flight, Meyer's Creek, Meyer's Rebellion and the Nellie McClung Trilogy. She currently lives near the area where No Small Victory takes place, and brings much of her own experience to her writing. Her picture book, Maple Moon, is a Storytelling World Honour Title winner.