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Siege (Orca 2014) — Jason is not happy when he finds himself stuck at a War of 1812 re-enactment summer camp for two weeks. The historically accurate camp bans all trappings of modern life, including cell phones and electricity. Jason is not sure how he will survive without his cell phone and video games. But things start to get interesting after he learns to fire a musket and meets the cute girl who works in the mess tent. And what about the mysterious lights that appear inside the old fort late at night? Is the fort haunted by soldiers who died there 200 years ago, or is something else more modern and criminal going on? When Jason and his friends investigate, they may be taking on more than they can handle. (Part of the Orca Currents series for ages 10-14).

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“The action moves smoothly and quickly so as to draw in any reluctant reader. The novel raises important questions that soldiers may face, such as what it is like to kill someone. Although the novel does have a light, fun quality to it, it succeeds in portraying the seriousness of wartime situations. One of the great things about this novel is the historical descriptions which are given a contemporary spin, making the educational quality of the novel less weighty and daunting…A useful novel when learning about the War of 1812 or any similar wartime conflict.” (Resource Links  2014-12-01)

“Pearce does a good job in subtly incorporating details that will be important later on in the story. Events flow smoothly from one to the other, with history lessons included in the dialogue…Readers will become familiar with some of the geography of Old Fort Erie and its surrounding area, the cause of the War of 1812, and familiar with terminology and phrases that were used at the time…The potential newfound knowledge that this war caused family members and neighbours to fight against one another may have an impact on readers’ perspectives on war.” (CM Magazine 2014-10-17)


See also the author’s blog post about the real Siege of Fort Erie and the research she did for the novel (including visiting Old Fort Erie and learning how a musket is fired).

battle reenactment

the gate of Fort Erie
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