Fitzhenry and Whiteside
ISBN: 7736-7430-6

Little, Brown, 1996
ISBN: 316-51728-3

(Danger Game, in USA)

The Canadian Children's Book Centre Choice

Sixteen-year-old Chelsea, a victim of abuse at an early age, has been let down by anyone she trusted. So when she is forced to spend the summer with relatives she has never met, she is determined to keep her thoughts, her feelings, and, most of all, her secrets to herself. And whenever these unspeakable emotions threaten to unfold, Chelsea relinquishes them to fire — an element over which she feels she has complete control.

It's not only Chelsea who has secrets. Fifteen-year-old Diggon is on the run, having witnessed a brutal attack carried out by a gang of his peers. Although Diggon did not participate, he did nothing to stop the unprovoked attack or to help the innocent victim. Now he is in hiding at his family's cottage, ridden with guilt, fearful of his safety, and terrified that by the time the police find him, he may be guilty of murder.

Chelsea's cousin Beth, uncertain of her relationship with Diggon, can only stand by while her exotic and mysterious cousin moves in and takes over.

Chelsea is able to conceal her secrets and her need to burn until her cousins and Diggon decide to include her in their secret summer pastime, a game of simple dares that tread the line between fun and real danger. The danger game is doing what you're most afraid of, whether it be standing in a swarm of bees or passing your finger through the flame of a match. To the three teens, doing these dares is nothing compared with facing the real danger — the truth — and bringing it into the open.

a sensitive book about abuse, and the emotional distancing and destructive coping strategies it can produce.

Voya (Voice of youth advocates)


When sixteen-year-old Ned Turner sets off for the Klondike Gold Rush, he's confident that he'll soon be home with enough gold to make the family rich. It doesn't turn out that way. Not only does Ned have to survive the perils of the long, dangerous trip to Dawson City and the on-coming winter, he also learns a number of hard lessons about trust. Woven in with his story are those of his younger sister Sarah, who must find the strength and resourcefulness to make the journey in order to find her brother, and of Catherine, a teenager travelling north not to find gold, but to escape her troubled past.


The characters' stories will be gold for fans of historical fiction and wilderness adventure.



Orca, 2000
ISBN: 1-55143-157-2

This novel captures the harshness and danger of the gold country, and the optimism and often-eventual despair of those who ventured there. The details of gold mining and traveling in the Klondike are well researched and vividly described, with accompanying photographs of the time period scattered throughout the book Lawson does a good job of switching story lines at critical moments to build suspense and dramatic tension. An exciting, fast-paced adventure.

School Library Journal

Weaving together maps, archival photographs, historical fact, and well-paced fiction, Lawson accurately depicts the physical hardship, the deplorable treatment of animals, and the human greed rife during the gold rush. Her main characters face reality with a believable combination of fear, fallibility, and strength. Lawson's uncomplicated text makes this chapter of Canadian history accessible, but also conveys emotion and insight.

Quill & Quire

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