Cover image for The hangashore
The hangashore
Butler, Geoff, 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Plattsburgh, N.Y. : Tundra Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 28 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.6 1.0 20417.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Trouble begins in a small Newfoundland fishing outport when a new magistrate arrives from England. A pompous and arrogant man, he expects deference without doing anything to earn it. The magistrate's attitude is contrasted sharply with that of John, a young man with Downs Syndrome, who measures people by their behaviour, not reputation. It takes a near tragedy at sea to show the magistrate who holds the better set of values.

Author Notes

Geoff Butler grew up in Newfoundland as his minister father travelled the province. He is one of the best known artists in the Atlantic provinces. His work depicts his respect for the hard lives of the people who live there, and for the beauty of his native home.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8‘This lengthy picture book is set in a small fishing village in Newfoundland at the end of World War II. Magistrate Mercer arrives from England intending to "improve" the behavior of "colonials" by setting an example of reserved behavior and strictly following social protocol. The people respect him but don't embrace him. When he refuses to give up his front-row pew to accommodate a service honoring local soldiers, he angers many townspeople but they remain silent. Only the minister's 16-year-old son, recognized as being "slow or not right in the head," has the courage to challenge him, calling him a "hangashore"‘a local term for "a pitiful person." This so angers the magistrate that he threatens to institutionalize John for being a "half-wit." But when the magistrate's life is threatened in a fishing accident and it is John who saves him, the man changes his mind about the boy, and about his own role in the community. The full-page oil paintings give readers a good sense of the island's landscape, the muted outdoor colors contrasting with the vivid reds inside the church. The portraits of the magistrate and John effectively deepen the characterizations provided by the text. The story has appeal for those who might be interested in Newfoundland.‘Virginia Golodetz, Children's Literature New England, Burlington, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.