A Forest of GoldBook - 2011
It is the 1920s, and twelve-year-old Emily Pattersen lives in a logging community in northern Ontario - a place where lumber is king and the forests make many men rich. She, of course, has more important things to concern herself with: run-ins with know-it-all Tilly at school, dealing with her frustrating brothers, and trying not to roll her eyes at her very serious mother's penchant for assigning Duties.
A new set of worries comes to her when, against their parents' wishes, her hot-headed brother Joe sneaks off to work at a lumber camp. Emily is the only one who knows where he's gone. Scared and anxious, she gets the post every day to intercept Joe's letters, with word about his safety. Life has suddenly become complicated, as Emily struggles to remain an obedient daughter, while protecting her brother's secret.
Debut novelist Courtney Maika is as inspiring as the feisty young heroine she has created. She wrote A Forest of Gold while in grade twelve. A keen reader of the the Dear Canada series, she says: "...they really inspired me, so at one point, when I was sixteen, I thought 'Why wait? I think I'm capable of writing a book now.'" Readers will be glad she did.