Grace Casselman worked for many years as a business and technology journalist, writing for a number of prominent newspapers such as the National Post and the Globe and Mail. Her first novel for young readers, A Hole in the Hedge, was shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year and won an Alberta Book Award. This talented novelist passed away in late 2006.
A Hole in the Hedge
An expert at fierce scowls and unpleasant grimaces, twelve-year-old Kaitlin Anderson presents a tough face to the world, usually hiding her quirky, imaginative nature. Still dealing with the loss of her mother to cancer, Kaitlin is less than kindly disposed to her stepmother Jane and her bratty half-sister, Anna. Meanwhile, Kaitlin has firmly fastened the bulk of her antagonism on her next-door neighbour - the odious boy, Michael, who used to be her best pal. Now, with the help of her friends, she devotes much of her energy to scheming to make him as miserable as possible. But is that what she really wants? Kaitlin’s friends are a mixed bunch. There’s her very favorite buddy in the world, Tracy - who seems to be losing her grip on reality. In contrast, there’s the unflappable Winter, Kaitlin’s prime competitor in all things academic. And don’t forget the class heart-throb Glenn, who has suddenly developed a particular interest in Kaitlin. Does he want to be more than friends? And can she trust him? When her dad finally delivers a letter written by her mom just before her death, Kaitlin has to deal with her own grief and anger. But unexpectedly, she’s able to use that letter and her own experiences to give some help and comfort to someone else who really needs it. And ultimately, she’s forced to make some tough decisions about revenge and forgiveness. In the face of love and loyalty, Kaitlin has to decide what’s most important in life.