Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult, Poetry
Joanna M. Weston of Shawnigan Lake, B.C. was born in Somerset, England on January 20, 1938. She first arrived in Canada in 1956 and first came to B.C. in 1960. She has lived in B.C. since 1975 except for five years in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (1997-2002). She moved to Shawnigan Lake, B.C. in 1991 where she became a part-time farmer at Cowichan Station. Married to an accountant, she has three sons. She received an M.A. from UBC and formerly worked in advertising, libraries and cancer research. In 2015, she was living with her husband, "two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer and two derelict henhouses."
The Willow Tree Girl. TreeHouse Press, 2003
Those Blue Shoes. Clarity House Press, 2006
A Summer Father. Frontenac House, 2006
Frame and The Maguire, Tradewind, 2016 YA novel $12.95 978-1-896580-59-3
[BCBW 2015] "Poetry"
Frame and The McGuire (Tradewind $12.95)
from Alex Van Tol
You know it’s going to be a bad day when you find a dead guy floating in the creek near your farm. And so it goes for Joanna M. Weston’s protagonist Frame in Frame and The McGuire (Tradewind $12.95), who’s poking around with her brother Ranger one afternoon during the spring runoff.
Turns out the dead man is Uncle Tam—not a real uncle, but a friendly and hardworking man loved by all families in their little community of Cowichan Station.
Frame and Ranger are rattled to the core, especially after the police discover a stab wound in the man’s chest. Who would have wanted to murder warm-hearted Uncle Tam?
Shortly after the discovery of Tam’s corpse, news explodes that the Dakens family’s priceless collection of gold coins has gone missing. The siblings decide to investigate on their own. They set out to confirm Frame’s suspicion that the murderer is cantankerous old Mr. McGuire, a kid-hating turkey farmer known as The McGuire whose property abuts their own.
After they find Uncle Tam’s dog, Sandy, tied up behind The McGuire’s barn, the pair discover the gold coins hidden on the old man’s property. They feel like it’s an open and shut case: The McGuire must have killed Uncle Tam. Now how do they tell the adults without catching hell for snooping around?
Sandy’s soiled and rack-thin appearance upsets Frame terribly, so she and Ranger hatch a plan to smuggle the dog to safety. The tension rises as more people are embroiled in the mystery, including elder siblings Michael and Bird, the kids’ parents and a neighbouring farm hand.
Billed as YA, Frame and the McGuire is a lively, fast-paced and well-orchestrated mystery also suitable for upper elementary-aged readers. Joanna M. Weston’s concise, emotive sentences also make this a great read for reluctant readers.
Weston, who lives in Shawnigan Lake, was born in Somerset, England and arrived in B.C. in 1960. She previously worked in libraries, advertising and cancer research. Her previous books are The Willow Tree Girl (TreeHouse Press, 2003), Those Blue Shoes (Clarity House Press, 2006) and A Summer Feather (Frontenac House, 2006).
Alex Van Tol is a freelance editor and author who lives in Victoria.