Until Niagara Falls


Is friendship supposed to feel like walking over the falls?

Brenda is afraid of heights, being in the dark, and dog poop. Then she meets daring, rule-breaking Maureen and realizes their friendship is a bit like walking a tightrope — exciting but dangerous. Maureen encourages Brenda to use fire escapes, sleep outside in a tent, and walk through strange backyards.

Their friendship strains when Maureen makes fun of Harvey, Brenda's special needs neighbour. It strains even further when Maureen borrows Gran's bracelet and lies about returning it. Suddenly, Brenda realizes she has to be as brave as The Great Blondin, the man who walked across the falls, to get it back.


Author and educator Jennifer Maruno brings emotional range and tension to her sensitive and thoughtful historical fiction...Until Niagara Falls shines in its timeless portrayal of tweendom’s emotional churn.

Quill & Quire

Until Niagara Falls is an excellent story with believable characters dealing with growing up, and it would be a fine read-aloud choice. The plot is fast paced, and the ending is both satisfying and heartwarming. Highly Recommended

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Until Niagara Falls is a true coming of age story, with Brenda learning more about what her family means to her, that friends are those dearer than just temporary excitement, and that she can accommodate many in her big heart.

CanLit for Little Canadians

Jennifer Maruno forces her characters to walk the tightrope between right and wrong in order to escape loneliness. Compelling.

Sylvia McNicoll, author of the Great Mistake Mysteries

1960s Niagara Falls is vividly portrayed in this charming story of two utterly different girls struggling toward friendship.

Karen Bass, author of The Hill

Readers at any age may see themselves on the pages of this superb historical fiction novel — I know I did. Times have changed, styles have changed, even the expectations placed on children’s behaviour have changed, but children’s hopes, needs, and dreams never do … Until Niagara Falls proves it.

Claudia White, author of Sevalious Window

About the Author

Jennifer Maruno

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014
Jennifer Maruno photo

Jennifer Maruno

Jennifer Maruno is a long-time educator and author. Her debut novel, When the Cherry Blossoms Fell, was shortlisted for the Hackmatack Award and the Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers Choice Award. She lives in Burlington, Ontario.