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Grease Town by Ann Towell
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Grease Town

by Ann Towell

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I felt like I was living in Canada while reading this book. Well written. I look forward to reading more from this author. ( )
  tallgurrl01 | Dec 6, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Set in the late 1800’s, Grease Town by Ann Towell is the tale of twelve-year-old Titus Sullivan’s coming of age during troubled times in a rough, oil laden city in Canada.

After both of his parents die, Titus and his older brother Lemuel go to live with their Aunt Sadie and Uncle Robert. Titus feels that Sadie is too hard on him and when Lemuel announces that he is leaving to live with their Uncle Amos in the Enniskillen swamp because oil has been discovered there and he plans to become a teamster – Titus runs away from home, stows away on Lemuel’s wagon and his adventures begin.

Titus is a charming, naïve boy and trouble seems to find him easily. The first child his age that Titus sees when he reaches his destination is also the first black person he has ever laid eyes upon. Titus quickly befriends Moses Croucher and they form a bond that will last a lifetime. Titus learns his most valuable lessons from Moses – both because of his wisdom and because he is black and living in a town that is mixed with people who are both for and against slavery.

In the climax of the story, Titus witnesses the radicals in the town burning the homes and haystacks of the blacks and he is traumatized so badly that he cannot speak. Through the love of his family and the strength of his friend, Moses, Titus finds his voice just in time to testify in court about what happened that day.

I found this to be a wonderful read. Quite entertaining and the words just seem to flow together so well that the pages keep turning and the book has ended before you even realize it. The story was well written, and descriptive without becoming over-run. It is a book for all ages and I would highly recommend it. ( )
  verka6811 | Sep 8, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the story of a young boy, Titus, who moves to a rough town built around an oil discovery there. He is living with Uncle Amos and brother, Lem. It tells about his life there and the opposition between black families there and the white townspeople.
I liked the kind of 'Little House on the Prairie' narration, but I don't think that it suited the story. I think the whole black and white separation should have been a bigger part of the story and it was largely absent from Titus's everyday life. It either had to be made bigger or be dropped to a much smaller part of the story. I did like the character's and the view through Titus's eyes was interesting. ( )
  mdtwilighter | Aug 27, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I tried really hard to like this book. It is historical fiction set in Canada, which is interesting because you usually don't find many Canadian historical fiction pieces. I found the book very confusing and lacking necessary details at times, especially when it came to the main character. I picked it up and put it down many times. Wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
1 vote grnpickle | Jun 26, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Other reviewers have provided terrific summaries of Grease Town, so another will not be offered. Grease Town is a well written and interesting story that can offer readers of all ages interesting and historical perspectives on important issues of race, family and friendship. The location of the book will be especially interesting to residents of southwestern Ontario. I agree with other reviewers that it would have been interesting to hear directly from Moses on his perspective. Uncle Amos and Lem were both warm and wonderful character, but, like a previous reviewer, I found some Aunt Sophie/Sadie switches in the book! The cover summary of my copy references Aunt Sophie, while the novel itself tells us about Aunt Sadie. This book will definitely be shared with an avid young reader! ( )
2 vote katheebee | May 13, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887769837, Hardcover)

A heartbreaking history of prejudice, family ties, and the loss of innocence.When twelve-year-old Titus Sullivan decides to run away to join his Uncle Amos and older brother, Lem, he finds an alien and exciting world in Oil Springs, the first Canadian oil boomtown of the 19th century.

The Enniskillen swamp is slick with oil, and it takes enterprising folk to plumb its depths. The adventurers who work there are a tough lot of individuals. In this hard world, Titus becomes friends with a young black boy, the child of slaves who came to Canada on the Underground Railroad. When tragedy strikes in the form of a race riot, Titus's loyalties are tested as he struggles to deal with the terrible fallout.

Though the characters are fictitious, the novel is based on a race riot that occurred in Oil Springs, Ontario, on March 20, 1863. Grease Town is historical fiction at its finest.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:29 -0400)

"When twelve-year-old Titus Sullivan decides to run away to join his Uncle Amos and older brother, Lem, he finds an alien and exciting world in Oil Springs, the first Canadian oil boomtown of the 19th century."--Amazon.com.

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Tundra Books

An edition of this book was published by Tundra Books.

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