FIC Sa, Rachel. The Lewton Experiment. Tradewind Books, 2013. 180 pp., pb. ISBN 978-1-896580-97-5. $12.95.
Sherri is seventeen and is excited about her first summer job. She is a student reporter for the newspaper in a tiny little town of Lewton, Ont., where her Aunt Gillian and Uncle Walter live. But her enthusiasm soon wanes when she arrives in the almost deserted town. Instead of a busy tourist town, the businesses are nearly all closed and everything has been taken over by a big box store. When Sherri tries to find out why the store is closing up the town, she is blocked at every turn and all her reports to the paper are rewritten to paint the business in a favourable light. The business seems to have an unusual influence over the townspeople and Sherri works hard to discover what it is. She even manages to fit in a little romance. She uncovers the unorthodox methods used by the business that include a low-protein additive in the food to lower resistance, playing music with subliminal messages, and inserting microchips that control the behaviour of the employees. With the help of her new romantic interest, she ia able to get information from computers and some of the latest employees coerced into the program, and exposes the scandalous business practices used. The business is shut down and Sherri is praised for her efforts.
A well written book that addresses present-day problems and has plenty of action to keep the reader engaged. It also illustrates how change can be made by one person.
Recommended for secondary libraries. It would make a good novel study.
Recommended grade level: 9-12 Date: July 2013
Reviewer’s Name: Rosemary Anderson Position: Retired Teacher Librarian
Institution: W.L. McLeod Elementary School District: 91, Nechako Lakes