Warning! The following book review is extremely Canadian!
Brian Gallagher, Irish author, publishes his latest young adult book called Arrivals. The best part is that the story takes place in a local Canadian town called Lakefield. The novel follows two time lines, Lakefield present and Lakefield in 1928. Real landmarks can be found in the novel including: the old train station, Lakefield college, Otonabee River and Webster Island. The novel is an action-packed adventure and historical fiction that follows three young friends: Mike, Wilson and Lucy. The story is a real page-turner, always keeping the reader wondering what will happen next to the young protagonists.
In an interview with Brian Gallagher, he informed us that he chose Lakefield because he knows the area quite well after visiting many times to see friends. He also choose to write the story in Lakefield because all the elements in the story simply came together. Brian also informed us that Arrivals is different from his other novels because all of his other books are primarily set in Ireland. While most of his young adult novels are in the historic fiction genre, this is his first one to follow between two timelines.
“It was lovely to write a story different from my others and it was lovely to visit Canada,” said Gallagher.
Arrivals has been published by ‘The O’Brien Press Ltd’ in Ireland and is available at ‘Happenstance, Books and Yarn’ for purchase. The book is currently only published by an Irish publisher but Brian Gallagher hopes to get it published by a Canadian one soon.
Gallagher said that when writing young adult novels he focuses on what youth really value: “loyalty and friendship.” He said things like “feeling outside of the gang” are common themes that youth can relate to. He even left some friendly advice for young writers: “It’s tempting to try to make a big project at first … start something short and finish it to the end. Get something finished, just get it done. You can always clean it up later. Just to get into the habit of not dropping things half way through.”
Arrivals is ideal to teach young kids in elementary school about Canadian history while also helping them learn to read. It’s also a good book for any Canadian who really just wants to read a book that’s based in their own country. I for one am sick of stories based in New York City, I’ve never even been there but I know all about how their streets are numbers and their big fancy park surrounded by buildings. Even if your not Canadian I just really want to recommend this book anyway.
There is even attention to brought to first nations living in Canada as one of the characters, Lucy, is a strong Ojibwe girl that young women everywhere could look up to.
The story follows young teens in an intense adventure as they follow bad guys on a secluded island.
After the death of Ciara’s grandfather, she finds clues he left behind to find a buried (literally) secret since he was 12 years old. Meanwhile, Lucy witnesses a murder in related events. Can the group of young teens solve the mysteries around them without getting any help from adults?
Well, you’ll have to read it to find out …
The book has a 3.5 rating overall and is only 13$, not to mention it’s a really easy read because it’s targeted towards young readers.
Thank you for reading my book review please let me know if I have missed anything or made a mistake. I will try my best to fix it as soon as possible.
Also, please let me know if you think Brian has failed to accurately portray Canadian life and first nation problems, because I’m going to be honest.. I think some of the content might just be an offensive attempt by an Irish man. Seriously tho, I’m curious of your opinion.