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Big Burn

TitleBig Burn
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsChoyce, Lesley
PublisherThistledown Press
ISBN Number189544943X
DescriptorsEnglish Language; Families; Friendship; Halifax; Nova Scotia; Novel; Politics; Young Adult

Chris Knox lives in Rocky Harbour, Nova Scotia, a town that for the past few years has been home to a toxic waste incinerator. Chris's father was heavily involved in trying to stop the incinerator project. When their town is selected as the site for a second waste burning incinerator, Chris is determined to do anything he can to stop it. In the process, he meets a beautiful girl named Marina and comes to understand his father better. Lesley Choyce, the author of this young adult novel, lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotia

Age Range


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Chris Knox’s refuses to be an observer when it is proposed that his community, Rocky Harbour, is to be the recipient of a waste incinerator. The construction of such a disposal unit would destroy valuable wildlife habitats. Chris’s idealism clashes with the community’s dependency on the chemical company for employment, and his father’s support is minimal – due to the fact that Mr. Knox waged an unsuccessful battle to prevent having the first incinerator installed, and lost his job in the Department of the Environment in the process. Chris learns to understand the frailties of other people and gains the ability to examine his own motivations for protest, all the while being able to continue his fight against the odds. Big Burn is a young adult, realist fiction novel.