Short-listed for the Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award, 2010
It is 1900, and 14-year-old Bertie McCross is a newspaper boy in downtown Toronto. Berties family has fallen on hard times and can use every penny he brings home from hawking newspapers on the frigid streets. However, in order to do that Bertie has to keep out of the clutches of the Kelly Gang, a family of slightly older Cabbagetown toughs who are shaking down "newsies."
On Christmas Eve, Bertie is almost cornered by the Kellys but is saved by Tommy Fry and Milwaukee Ed, who introduce Bertie to the thrills of iceboat racing on Lake Ontario. Soon Bertie is swept up in the fast and dangerous sport and meets a whole crew of new friends, including Isobel, a girl from a wealthy family with a mansion on Jarvis Street. The continued pursuit by the Kelly Gang, a plunge into freezing harbour water, and the clash of classes all lead up to a spine-tingling race to end all races.
Steve Pitt's first children’s book, Rain Tonight, was nominated for the Silver Birch, Red Cedar, and Rocky Mountain Awards. Recently, he published two non-fiction books for young people: To Stand and Fight Together and Day of the Flying Fox. He lives in Toronto.
" ... Pitt's vivid descriptions of the ice-boat races and Bertie's struggle to escape the Kelly Gang's wrath reward the reader with exciting action a fast-paced, thrilling story recommended for any library, but especially school libraries. The book will appeal to young adults who are interested in sports and history - two topics that don't often intersect."- Philip Bravo, CM Magazine
his good-humoured eye for detail provides plenty of vigour Dont be turned off by the antiquarian photograph on the cover of this book. There are bright, funny moments within- Deirdre Baker, Toronto Star, The
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