Book: Until Niagara Falls (2020)
Author: Jennifer Maruno
Genre: MG, Historical Fiction (1960)
Basic plot: Brenda lives in Niagara Falls, Canada. She’s doing a school project on the Great Blondin who’s famous for walking across the falls on a tightrope. When she meets Maureen, the new girl from Toronto, Brenda begins to feel like she’s walking on her own tightrope…
1) I loved all the Niagara Falls information in this book. I didn’t actually live there, but we lived close enough that I knew about most of her references. Like Dufferin Islands as a swimming location! (Sadly, you can’t swim there anymore. Really, it was one of the coolest places you could swim!)
2) Maureen was a complex character to like. And yet, she really needs a friend like Brenda! At times I felt bad for her, and other times I wanted Brenda to just get out of there.
3) I liked how the neighbour fit into the story. Especially, with the dog and the CNE. I thought it worked well.
4) The scene with the bicycle at the library! Ooh boy. That Maureen is a tricky one. I love how it slowly dawns on Brenda about how Maureen really got the bike. And even better yet was how it all fit into the plot by the end of the story!
5) I liked that Maureen’s mom, while obviously overwhelmed, isn’t a horrible parent. I was glad that Brenda figures out that she can go to the mom to appeal to her with regards to Maureen and the stolen bracelet.
6) Granny is also a complex character that I grew to love. I was prepared to NOT like her, but she grew on me. I hope she does make it to Scotland!
7) Loved the Krick’s Pickles story line! (Doubly cool that it’s partly true!)
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) (**Spoiler alert! The chicken pox came on a little too suddenly! Normally, it takes two to three weeks for the spots to appear… rather than the two days in the book! Minor problem.)
Love this book! I found all the Niagara Falls bits to be like a nostalgic walk back in time. But, even if you’ve never been to the Falls, this would be an enjoyable read. The friendship between Brenda and Maureen complicated. Well worth the read!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…