Saskatoon Lifestyle Review - The Light-Fingered Gang

Reviewed by: Bonnie Thompson

Dave Glaze, author of the Pelly Series and Who Took Henry and Mr. Z, has once again captured the minds of our youth with an adventurous travel into the past. The LIght-Fingered Gang is packed with action, history and interesting stories and people from 1912 Saskatoon. This expertly written novel has all the ingredients for a captivating read - adventure, mystery, historical tidbits about the place many of us call home, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 

Twelve-year-old Mackenzie Davis is growing up in Saskatoon in 1912, a young city that is expanding at a speed no one could have predicted. Mackenzie soon discovers that Saskatoon holds excitement, mystery and intrigues and can't help but find himself right in the middle of many of them. Mackenzie and his friend, Albert, roam the growing city watching buildings go up, searching for coins under the boardwalks and attend a circus - compete with elephants, tigers and "bad guys." The story is intermingled with the interesting lives and tales of fellow residents and is complimented with fictional articles from the Daily Phoenix, of which Mackenzie's father, Ted, writes. People like Stanley, a "Galician" friend, open Mackenzie's eyes to the live of the men who are building the city. Henry Lavallee, the local strong man, who out performs a circus hero. Mackenzie's own family, who show him the dangers of typhoid fever and un-pasteurized milk. And a quiet, mysterious young Chinese boy who works at the local laundry and ends up helping Stanley catch the "bad guys."

Mackenzie discovers how to make his own judgments about the people in his life, how to accept people of all creeds and the difference between right and wrong. Through Mackenzie's encounters with a host of quirky characters, including a young man named John (who proclaims that one day he will become Prime Minister), readers have the opportunity to view a snapshot of our past and come away with a renewed sense of adventure. This action packed novel is recommended for readers of all ages.

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