Reader Reviews - Praise for CHECK MATE!
A superbly-constructed novel… written with verve… a remarkable work of children’s historical fiction.
- Gordon Bowes, Sackville, Nova Scotia, former French specialist, LeMoyne d’Iberville High School, Longueuil, QC
[Check Mate!] is unique in personalizing the hardships endured by French and English sailors navigating the bitter cold and treacherous waters of the North Atlantic and Hudson’s Bay...
- Jo-Anne Naslund, Education Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
[T]wo boys from very different places and ideals [come] together in a journey from boy to man. [H]istory well rendered…you can practically smell the ocean and imagine yourself on a ship’s deck.
- Emily Blackmore, Librarian, Provincial Resource Library, St. John’s, NL
[E]xciting novel for the young reader… portrayed with historical accuracy. A wonderful lesson on humanity and its capacity to overcome class, religious and ethnic prejudices.
- Guy Vadeboncoeur, Ph.D., FCMA, Director and Chief Curator, Stewart Museum, Montreal, QC
[F]ascinating tale… a real page-turner. [I]mpressive research and historical accuracy underpinning this story… I would heartily recommend [Check Mate!] to young readers.
- Terrance R. Carson Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Thoroughly enjoyed Check Mate! I love the way it was set up with the two boys and the flags designating the country at the start of each chapter. It makes it easier to remember who is who! Also liked the back of the book references. A lot of hard work and long hours of research went into the creation of this book. It's wonderful. A real page turner with fabulous descriptions of the characters. Love the illustrations too. Although aimed at the "young adult" the book is equally interesting to “old adult” - for that matter any age group who can read. Well done mates!!
- Norma Truesdell, DDO, Quebec
Check Mate …Students can identify with these two characters… French, Mohawk, and Inuit…give a flavour to the book…Placing well written historical fiction such as Check Mate into the elementary and secondary history curriculum is long overdue and goes a long way to explain why…this book (is) valuable…beautiful illustrations and maps throughout … Much of the history here is caught, not taught, and students can acquire knowledge of 17th century life without realizing it… gripping and the harsh life of the times comes through realistically. Both sides of this French-English conflict are treated sympathetically and they battle nature as well as each other… Native Peoples are given their parts as are French Huguenots who are often left out of Canada’s past…the many details do not overwhelm the plot … The pace is maintained and dialogue switches back and forth between the two main characters… Teachers can use this book in a variety of ways…it is a handy book and deserves to be used by young people whether at home or at school.
- Sam Allison, Formerly History and Economics teacher at Centennial Regional High School, Greenfield Park, Quebec, and Vice-President, Quebec Association of Teachers of the Social Studies.