Cocteau Books, 2011
Erik never wanted to leave his grandfather's farm, and the memory of his dead father, in Norway. But in Canada his family can have their own farm, so Erik, his mother, and his older sister Elsa journey to the Canadian west with Rolf, their mother's new husband, Rolf. Rolf is a hard man to talk to and even harder to get to know. And he's keeping a secret from his new family. Erik does a man's work, helping Rolf break land and build a sod house. Rolf's brother and his son Olaf live in the nearby town. Olaf looks a lot like Rolf, but for some reason won't talk to him, and seems to resent Erik as well. The boys start to get along through their shared efforts to save Tapper, an injured horse. Tapper gets well enough to be entered in a local horserace and turns out to be a real winner. "Tapper" is the Norwegian word for "brave," and Erik really must be "tapper" to face all the challenges of his new life and be a winner himself.
I was attracted to this book because I enjoy reading pioneer stories. Most of the stories I’ve read are from the perspective of a girl main character, so it was interesting to read this one from the point of view of a boy. The story contained lots of details about how early settlers lived on the prairie, including living in a sod house, snaring game and looking after a farm. The characters in this novel were realistic, with family issues that kept my attention through the story (as well as some shady criminal activity).
How I discovered this book:I found this book when browsing in the library.
Other info:Adele Dueck is a Canadian author. She has spent many years working on her farm in the province of Saskatchewan.
She began writing children’s books when she saw how few books there were set on farms, especially in the Canadian prairies.This book has been nominated for the British Columbia Red Cedar Award for 2012/2013, won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Children's Literature and was a finalist in the 2012 High Plains Book Awards.
Other books written by this author include:The New Calf, 2007, easy-to-read
Nettie’s Journey, 2005, easy-to-read
Anywhere But Here, 1996
For more, visit Adele Dueck’s website.