Revenge on the Fly by Sylvia McnicollRevenge on the Fly by Sylvia Mcnicoll

Revenge on the Fly

bySylvia Mcnicoll

Paperback | April 15, 2014

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When twelve-year-old William Alton and his father sail from England for new opportunities on the Empress of Ireland, they leave behind the graves of his mother and baby sister. Will only hopes they will leave death and disease behind them, too. But a shipmate's baby falls ill and is forced into quarantine on Grosse Ile, and when they finally arrive in Hamilton - their new home - they discover that Will's Uncle Charlie is in the hospital. Why must everyone around him get sick and die? A competition at Will's new school offers an answer . . . and a challenge. In 1912, cities around the world declare war on the fly, blaming it for the spread of the diseases - summer complaint, typhus, consumption and typhoid - that are wiping out families. To avenge his mother and his sister, Will throws himself into the local fly-killing contest. Along the way, he makes enemies and friends: Fred Aitken, the wealthy classmate who hates losing; Fred's admirer, Ginny Malone, who often must skip school to look after sick siblings; and Rebecca, a doctor's daughter who hates poor sportsmanship worse than poverty and disease. William uses ingenuity and determination to climb into the top ranks of fly-catchers, but along the way loses track of his real mission. Can he beat Fred without cheating? How much does it matter?

About The Author

Sylvia McNicoll is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels for young people. Once a financial clerk earning her English degree at night from Concordia University in Montreal, Sylvia has since been a teacher and the editor of Today's Parent Toronto. Today Sylvia is a full-time writer who also gives her time to the Canadian Chil...
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Details & Specs

Title:Revenge on the FlyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.98 × 5.76 × 0.48 inPublished:April 15, 2014Publisher:Pajama Press Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927485568

ISBN - 13:9781927485569

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Customer Reviews of Revenge on the Fly

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Beautifully Crafted Story "Revenge on the Fly" by Sylvia McNicoll is a beautifully crafted story set in Hamilton, Ontario where William (Will) Alton and his father take up residence after the"Express of Ireland " docks in Quebec. Emigrating to a land with better opportunities, Arthur Alton quickly finds a job working as a servant and stable hand for wealthy Mr. Moodie while Will starts Central Public School. But on his second day in class a competition sponsored by the Hamilton Spectator is announced. Declaring a war on disease, the newspaper intends to award a prize of $50 for the most flies killed, and prizes of $5 each for two essays that will convince the public to also kill them. Determined to help rid the city of the disease carriers that brought death to his mother and sister Colleen, and wanting the money for a down payment on a house he accepts the challenge even though it means going up against Fred Leckie, a bully from an affluent family. In a story of prejudice and betrayal, of heartwarming love and friendship, Sylvia McNicoll brings to life the 1912 global crusade to control disease. The plot is rich in humor as Will, inept at catching flies with his hands, implements a modern housecleaning tool and even horse manure. Well-written and touching the story progresses quickly as Will learns life lessons about fighting, forgiveness, acceptance and honesty. In a climax that's as satisfying as it is triumphant Will finds that winning is not just about the prize money, but in the friendships and hope the contest inspired. The characters are realistic, intriguing and unforgettable. Amiable, ingenious, good-natured and compassionate Will Alton never loses hope that diseases like the one that stole the lives of his mother and sister can be eradicated. Like his down-to-earth father he's hardworking, inventive and honest. Contrasted with Ginny Malone the dishevelled wild-tempered, tough and spunky Irish girl who fancies Fred in the tale, is the perfectly mannered, sweet, smart and pretty Rebecca Edwards. While Ginny tackles Fred's insensitivity and lack of respect by taking revenge, Rebecca dodges the bully's interest and uses her influence to stop Will from employing dishonest tactics. Fred Leckie the mean-spirited bully who bribes, steals and cheats to get what he wants is a sulky braggart with a rich, overly indulgent father. All the characters add drama, passion and energy to a story which captivates the reader from the first page to the last. I loved " Revenge on the Fly" which is a must read for young and old alike. I highly recommend it and will certainly look forward to reading more by this gifted Canadian author
Date published: 2014-07-14

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Editorial Reviews

In 1912, twelve-year-old William Alton sails with his Dad on the Empress of Ireland bound for new opportunities in Canada, leaving behind the graves of his mom and baby sister. A job for Dad, an education for Will, and no more disease! Unfortunately, another baby on board the ship succumbs to summer complaint, and Uncle Charlie falls ill with typhoid; why does everyone get sick and die? On Will’s second day in school, the city health officer, Dr. Roberts, gives him the answer. One tiny little insect spreads germs and death. Will and his classmates declare war on the fly - Middle Shelf Magazine - 20141101