Virginia Haviland

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 128

Intolerable incompatibility with a too-busy, autocratic father and a self-centered stepmother sends Kimberly, fourteen, and Nathaniel, sixteen, off on an escape to Uncle Seth and his cabin in the Canadian northwoods. Their rare and generous brother-sister relationship adds warmth to [A Star to the North ]…. The human factors...

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Intolerable incompatibility with a too-busy, autocratic father and a self-centered stepmother sends Kimberly, fourteen, and Nathaniel, sixteen, off on an escape to Uncle Seth and his cabin in the Canadian northwoods. Their rare and generous brother-sister relationship adds warmth to [A Star to the North]…. The human factors and travel details—there is a brilliantly described shooting of the rapids when Kimberly's sprained ankle makes portage impossible—raise the book above many such accounts of adventure. At the end of the story, parental relationships are not improved, but are faced squarely, while a maturing point of view enriches the character study.

Virginia Haviland, "Late Winter Booklist: 'A Star to the North'," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1971 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. XLVII, No. 1, February, 1971, p. 55.

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