Author: Eric Walters
Genre: Young adult
About Voyageur: Brian, his mom, and his sister go on a canoe trip in Northern Quebec to scatter the ashes of Brian's father.
Review of Voyageur
Once, long before my sister and I were even born, my father mentioned to my mother that when he died he wanted his ashes scattered at the lake where he'd spent his childhood summers. He was probably just joking around — who ever thinks they're really going to die? — but she remembered. And now we were paddling our canoes toward that lake.
At the front of my canoe, along with a tent and sleeping bags and supplies piled on top, was the urn holding his ashes. Here we were, just the two of us, riding along together in a canoe. He'd talked about doing that, the four of us going on a canoe trip, but there's never been time. There was always some deal that needed to be chased down, some client who had to be satisfied, money that needed to be made. Like any of that made any difference now. But anyway, here we were at last, riding together in a canoe, just like he'd wanted ... well, maybe not exactly like he'd wanted ... not exactly the way anybody would want.
...from pages 33-34
The following is an edited transcript of an interview with KB, age 15, on 17 July 2009.
- What's the name of the book?
- Voyageur by Eric Walters
- What's the book about?
- It's about this kid, Brian, and his mom and his little sister, Jenny. They're Americans and they go on this canoe trip in Québec to a lake to spread the ashes of Brian's father.
- What happened to the father?
- Car accident on the way to or from work one day.
- They've never really gone canoeing before. Brian and his mom know the basics but that's it. Brian is in one canoe with all of their supplies and he's quite a distance ahead of them when they hit rapids. He warns his mother and sister, and they get to shore in time but he goes in the rapids and he nearly drowns. But this man, Pierre, comes and saves him. And Pierre realizes that they were completely unprepared and they were using a road map with just a picture of the lake to get there. He decides to accompany them.
- And this doesn't worry Brian's mother at all? That she's sending her son with some strange man in a canoe?
- No. He saved his life so...
- She's grateful.
- Did you like the book?
- It was a good book but I found it hard to get that movie playing in my head. It wasn't as descriptive as most books are. If it was descriptive, it was stuff I didn't understand, canoeing stuff.
- So you had trouble identifying with it and picturing it?
- Yeah, where they were and what they were doing and sometimes what the characters looked like. Which was different because I had freedom to make them look however I wanted them to.
- Is that a good thing?
- It can be.
- You prefer to be told?
- Yeah, I'm not very creative.
- Did anything surprise you about the book?
- The big secret at the end.
- Have you ever read a book by this author before?
- Would you read any more of his books?
- Yeah, probably. He normally writes for younger kids but there are a few books by him in the YA section of the library. I haven't tried to read those yet.
- Anything else you want to say?
- It's a good book for anyone who likes canoeing or is interested in going canoeing. You can learn some stuff.
- Catherine Howett, CM Magazine, 7 November 2008
- “I really enjoyed this book...”
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Added 15 May 2009.
Updated 05 September 2013.