Jean Lee Latham Nancy Byers - Essay

Nancy Byers

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In a very much to-the-point fashion [The Columbia, Power House of North America] tells the river's history, its discovery, the building of Astoria to promote fur trade, the gradual settlement of the territory by the Americans, the river's development and finally the building of the huge dams to produce hydro-electric power. In more recent years [Canadian] interest, and much controversy, has been aroused by the Columbia River Treaty of 1964 which has been summarily dealt with in 10 lines near the end of the book…. [The] text, written in an easy-to-read style, is reasonably successful, making this a good "project" book. However, as the book concentrates on the American end of the river and the American end of things it would seem it would be of more use to American students. (p. 29)

Nancy Byers, in In Review: Canadian Books for Children, Spring, 1970.

"You're going to go far." Shoulders squared and mind alert …, the young James Cook follows his star … right out of biography into the heady gambits of historical fiction [in Far Voyager: The Story of James Cook]…. [This] whole venture [is] composed of dramatic scenes, vigorous dialogue, colorful personalities—it's eminently readable, not unreliable, just somewhat flushed (and in the case of his wife, affected: "There are some things [like danger] a man doesn't tell a woman"). (p. 507)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1970 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), May 1, 1970.