Picture This

Picture This

by Norah McClintock
Orca Book Publishers, 2009
ISBN 978-1-55469-138-8 (pb)
ISBN 978-1-55469-139-5 (hc)
$9.95/$16.95, 109 pp, includes excerpt from Hannah’s Touch ages 12-15

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but is it worth your life? Fifteen-year-old Ethan stares down the barrel of a gun trying to understand why this guy wants his knapsack. The only thing in it is Ethan’s camera and that he is not giving up. Ethan manages to escape, but strange things continue to happen.

As part of a youth program for “at-risk kids” called Picture This, Ethan is learning about photography. He has discovered that he really likes taking photographs and has chosen hawks for the project he must complete, illustrated with his photos. This gives Ethan an opportunity to spend time in the woods near his foster parents’ home. He enjoys his time in the woods because it makes him feel calm and peaceful. He likes to watch the hawks but knows they are not as free as they think they are. As they soar through the air, Ethan knows the hawks’ freedom is threatened by the encroachment of people. Though Ethan is starting to break free from his troubled past, incidents begin to happen that endanger Ethan’s life and those he cares about the most. His foster parents’ home is trashed, yet nothing is stolen. The policeman on the case knows Ethan from the days when Ethan used to hang out with gang members. He thinks Ethan might be involved in the break-in. A man, posing as a policeman, turns up at the youth centre when Ethan is not there and wants to see Ethan’s photos. Why is someone interested in his pictures? When Ethan has shots fired at him in front of the Eaton Centre the police finally believe Ethan is in danger. But who is after him and why? And what does it have to do with his photos?

This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s September 2010 issue.

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