About this Item
Young adult softcover
Winner of the 2001 Governor General's Literary Award
2001 Saskatchewan Book Awards: Children's Literature Award Winner
2001 Mr. Christie's Book Award Winner for ages 12 & Up
Set in Saskatchewan during its dust-bowl years, Slade's novel begins eerily as seven-year-old Matthew vanishes on his first walk into town alone. Matthew's parents and the entire community appear to accept and forget his disappearance, but a strange set of circumstances leads his 11-year-old brother, Robert, to conclude that Matthew is still alive. It seems that Matthew's disappearance, as well as the vanishing of several other area children, corresponds with the appearance of Abram Hamsich, a stranger who promises to build a rainmaking machine that will end the terrible drought. Hamsich soon has the whole town mesmerized, except for Robert (and his uncle), who gradually realizes Hamsich's horrific true plans.