Monday, May 27, 2013

Fish Change Direction in Cold Water

Fish Change Direction in Cold Water
Pierre Szalowski

An icestorm is a natural disaster with a quintessentially Canadian personality. It arrives slowly, without fanfare, and is accompanied by seasonally mild weather. As we have seen this year in Guelph, it has the power to drop old trees, endanger travelers, and disrupt power service. In Montreal in 1998 it did all this and more. It shut down the city for three days and left many without power for days.

In Fish Change Direction in Cold Water a ten-year-old boy asks the sky to fix his family’s problems and is rewarded with a life-changing storm. Pierre Szalowski’s
novel weaves together the isolated lives in a Montreal neighbourhood thrust together by shared weather. The book is a comical and uplifting look at the possibilities that arise in life when a drastic change in weather causes everyone to change directions.

As someone who lived through the 1998 icestorm nearby in Ottawa, I got to relive the community spirit that brought out the best in everyone. With the electricity out sporadically throughout the city, there were many who took in those without power. This book captures how life slowed down momentarily and brought people together.

A great book full of laughs and social commentary, especially recommended for young readers going through family trouble.

- Dave MacKay

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