Adventure • Net: The Lost Sketch
Reviewed: August 31, 2002
By: Andrea and David Spaulding
Publisher: Whitecap Books
101 pages, $8.95
Adventure • Net series follows the journeys of Rick and Willow Forster, two
youngsters who live in a school bus with their parents and travel all over the
country while the senior Forsters pursue their careers in film making.
the first of their adventures, Rock and Willow have been enrolled in a summer
canoe camp in the Algoma district of Ontario for a few weeks while their
parents work on a contract job in the area. It is while canoeing that they
discover the old, abandoned, boxcar in the woods, and Willow, who has
previously taken some of the day camp art courses at the Art Gallery of
Ontario, is convinced that it's the boxcar the Group of Seven painters used to
use when they took their annual excursions into this part of the province on
the Algoma Central Railway.
top of that, they discover an oil sketch,similar to the sort of thing the group
members used to do when they were on their trips. Willow is pretty certain it's
a sketch by Arthur Lismer. In trying to find out they leave themselves wide open
to the machinations of a local art dealer who is a Group of Seven groupie and a
lot less honest than he should be.
and Willow are modern sleuths and make a lot of use of the internet to track
down the clues to their mystery. Many of the references they find are
reproduced in the factual sidebars
which are sprinkled throughout the pages of the book. These sections,like the
covers of the series, are displayed as if they were computer monitor windows, complete with URL references at the
bottom of each entry.
weakness of providing internet addresses is that they become dated so quickly
as links are changed or displays are relocated to other servers. I looked up
most of the ones in this book and about 10% of them no longer work as expected.
The good part is that they will take you to places where you can find things
related to what you were looking for in the first place, links you might never
have thought of exploring if you were just surfing the net on your own.
to the Spaldings, who were recently writers in residence here at Berton House,
the division of labour on this particular book was that Andrea wrote the story
and David backed it up with research, as well as writing the sidebars. The
result is an interesting series for the age 7-14 group. The fourth in the
series will be set in Dawson City.