Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Two Times a Traitor

Finished July 4
Two Times a Traitor by Karen Bass

This children's novel begins with 12-year-old Laz Berenger visiting Halifax with his family on spring break. Laz's anger against his father has been stewing for months, ever since his father's job took them to Boston. His father is ex-military and has high expectations for Laz, but doesn't seem to always care about Laz's own interests. Laz wanted to stay with the one friend he'd made in Boston and take a course in parkour, something he's been trying without instruction. Laz and his younger sister Emmeline grew up spending summers at their grandmother's house in the country where she insisted on everyone speaking French. This last summer, she gave him a Saint Christopher medal on a chain, something that had been handed down through the family for generations.
At the Citadel, an argument between father and son erupts and Laz rushes away from his family. He explores on his own, finding an underground walkway beneath the outer wall. In the dark, he trips and falls, and when he awakens he finds himself in a forest on a hill. As he begins walking around, trying to figure out where he is, he encounters a group of men dressed in clothes from the past, and they take him to a ship, where he is brought before the captain.
As Laz gradually realizes that somehow he has moved to another time, he begins to panic about how to get home, especially when the captain takes all his clothes and his medal, and tells him he is suspected of being a spy.
Laz's language skills, and his forthright behaviour bring him both opportunities and trouble, and before long, he is sent into Louisbourg as a spy to observe and report back. When the siege starts unexpectedly, Laz finds himself loving his new home and his master. He is now torn between staying with the man he has come to love and respect, and getting his medal back, which he believes is the key to going home again. He begins to wonder what home really is, and what he really wants.
This story is of a boy, moving from a rebellious pre-teen to an assured young man as he is forced to deal with his situation on his own. A wonderful read incorporating Canadian history and a great character.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds intriguing! I like time slip novels - there seem to be quite a few good ones in children's fiction.