From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3?Children often enjoy reading about a young person who can competently handle a great adventure without parental supervision, and this boy does just that. Marven, 10, is sent to a remote lumber camp to escape a 1918 influenza epidemic in his hometown of Duluth, MN. He takes the train by himself and skis the five miles from the station to the camp. He is assigned to keep the books for the lumber camp and quickly devises an effective system. Although he longs to be reunited with his close-knit family, he makes friends with the French-speaking lumberjacks and finds a way to adapt his Jewish dietary laws to the camp food. The story becomes even more enjoyable when readers learn that it is based on an actual event. A concluding note includes photographs of Marven and relates that the man, now in his 90s, still has a good head for math. Hawkes's acrylic paintings are especially effective in showing the small boy against the vast Minnesota landscape and in comparison to the brawny lumberjacks. A satisfying story of courage and adaptability that has great read-aloud potential.?Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
With a daughter's fitting reverence, Lasky tells the story of her father, Marven, who was sent away from his family at the age of ten to work in a logging camp. Duluth, Minnesota, is plagued with influenza in the winter of 1918, so Marven's parents send off their only son to the great north woods for the winter. As the train pulls away, Marven is in the middle of nowhere; he must ski five miles to meet his new employer. The young boy is given the job of bookkeeping and the daunting task of waking the lumberjacks who linger in bed in the morning. Marven grows close to Jean-Louis, the giant sleepyhead of the bunch. Hawkes's illustrations are as moving and effective as the story, especially when Marven appears in the snowy loneliness of the north country. Hawkes characterizes the burly lumberjacks with humor and style, cleverly contrasting them with Marven's childlike innocence. Unlike Gary Paulsen's bittersweet northland novella, The Cookcamp (1991), over which hangs a vague sense of unease, this book is a happy adventure that brims with rugged excitement. (Picture book. 6-10) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.