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Hold Fast

TitleHold Fast
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1978
AuthorsMajor, Kevin
PublisherClarke, Irwin
DescriptorsDeath; English Language; Fishing; Fishing Community; Grief; Moving; Newfoundland and Labrador; Novel; Realism

This young adult novel is told in the first person in a Newfoundland dialect. After Michael's parents are killed in a car accident, he goes to live with his stony aunt and uncle. He is used to the freedom of the fishing village in which he grew up and has a difficult time adapting to his new home. Kevin Major is from Newfoundland.


Newfoundland and Labrador

Age Range


Author Profile: 

Michael's parents have just been killed by a drunk driver, and his whole world is coming down around him. His relatives decide to send him to St. Albert, a small town in Newfoundland, to live with his Aunt and Uncle. As a result, Michael is forced to leave behind what is left of his family - a brother, aunt, and grandfather. The move to St. Albert is tough – Michael struggles at school and at home for being a rural kid with a funny accent. As Michael tries to find a social group to be a part of, he discovers a friend in his cousin Curtis when the two discover they share a similar distaste for Michael's uncle. Uncle Ted - Curtis's father – rules his house with an iron fist, but his authority soon becomes too much for Michael. Michael and Curtis decide they have to break free and try to make it on their own. Hold Fast is a first-person, immediate engaging narrative, and is often considered to be Atlantic Canada's breakout YA problem novel.


"And then part way through, it got so bad that I just couldn’t stick it anymore. I had to tear outa there. And just as fast as I could, I took off in front of all the people, every one of them turning to look at me with stupid-looking pity in their eyes. Past all the headstones, down in through the woods. As far I as could get outa their sight. Across the paths where the skidoos used to go. I ran like hell’s flames. Getting away from it. Ran till I was that far away it was like none of them would ever get the chance to see me again." (10)