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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Burbee, Jo and Making Memories by Donald Taylor is a delightful coming-of-age novel with memories written with a sense of nostalgia. Dean and Johnie have been driving through Canada for the last ten months. Toward the end of their adventure, Dean recounts beautiful memories from his childhood that could match the adventures they have just had. The story is set in Toronto in 1951 and 1952. Dean and his best friend Jo are neighbors and attend the same school. Many of their experiences happen within their neighborhood and school. Dean is a sports enthusiast and is especially interested in ice hockey. He makes regular stops at Mr. Beaule’s corner market to check for hockey cards. Dean and Jo make wonderful memories with their families and friends before their lives take different courses.
Every day in Dean's and Jo’s lives brings new lovely experiences and events. I was drawn to Dean and his friends’ antics and the many light-hearted moments in the book. I loved getting to know each character included and appreciated how authentic and interesting each was. While the book chronicles the friends’ experiences, it is also skillful at threading historical events that relate to the era in which the story is set into the main story. Burbee, Jo and Making Memories by Donald Taylor is a fabulous Toronto-based historical novel that adeptly follows the lives of a group of young friends through their coming-of-age years. It shows how family and friendships expand a person’s experiences and it powerfully portrays changes within such relationships. I loved all aspects of this book.