Resource Links Review - Danger in Dead Man's Mine
Reviewed by: Carolyn Cutt
Book 3 in the intriguing historical series 1912: The Mackenzie Davis Files/ , is set in Lethbridge, Alberta. Mackenzie, his mother and young sister have arrived for a summer visit with their relatives, hoping to help out. Times have been difficult for this mining community as a strike closed the mine for over a year. Even though the mine has opened again, Mackenzie's uncle has black lung, from years of working underground and breathing coal dust, and cannot return to work. His aunt is expecting a baby any day and his cousins are all scrambling to work and help. Mackenzie follows Francis, his fifteen year old cousin, into a deserted mine. Inside a room in the tunnel, Francis explains not only how the mine is constructed, but also the dangers of explosions causing the ceilings to collapse. Mackenzie is happy to see the sunlight again and explore the valley around the city. But soon Mackenzie's carefree holiday plans are changed. Francis suddenly disappears and his younger cousin, John Walter, is gone all day, returning late, dirty and exhausted. Mackenzie knows they want to help their family, but how and where? Determined to find Francis, his adventures begin. Will the locomotive stop if he doesn't make it across the trestle bridge in time? When John Walter also goes missing, Mackenzie realizes that he and his friend must be digging for coal in abandoned mines for money. But what shaft are they in? Can they be rescued in time? Filled with facts regarding the perils of coal mining in the early 1900's, this fast-paced novel is both interesting and informative. The landscape surrounding Lethbridge is described in detail. Also interspersed throughout the text are pages each containing a newspaper article from the Lethbridge Daily Herald, providing the reader with a picture of Lethbridge in the summer of 1912. For example: Monday, August 19, 'Happy Sun Heats Prairies to 100 Degrees',. And most pertinent: 'Local Owner Upset With Thieves Stealing From His Mine. Robbers Selling Coal to Unsuspecting Buyers'. These short articles also give clues to intrigue the reader further. A great discussion started, this novel should be a popular addition to an elementary school library or a classroom selection. Article by Carolyn Cutt.