In the year 1904, Fred Dickinson teeters on the brink of manhood. He is spending the last summer of his childhood at his grandfather’s family cottage on Rideau Lake, the only place he feels truly alive. Shy and stuttering, Fred’s ambition is to make his living on the water, mapping the lake for hidden shoals. His father however, has other plans. Believing Fred to lack character, his father is arranging for him to work in the city to toughen him up.
Fred’s summer is one of love, adventure, and mystery. He falls in love and suffers heartache, discovers a long-buried secret about a rumoured murderer, and defies his father for the first time. Although he started the summer as an outcast, Fred eventually succeeds in finding his own place among his family and friends.
Using as a backdrop the actual 1904 diary of a young man, Julie Johnston invents a captivating tale of discovery, youthful passion, and intrigue, recapturing the atmosphere of a time less hectic, less sophisticated.
Governor General’s Literary Award – Children (English)FINALIST 1998
“Wonderfully simple, yet layered with meaning,…this book is just terrific!” –School Library Journal (starred review)
About Julie Johnston
Tundra author Julie Johnston received the Governor General’s Award for her first two books, Hero of Lesser Causes and Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me. Her third novel, The Only Outcast, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, as was her… More about Julie Johnston
Published by Tundra Books Aug 14, 1999| 248 Pages| 5-1/8 x 7-5/8| Middle Grade (10 and up)| ISBN 9780887764882