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Make or Break Spring

TitleMake or Break Spring
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsMcNaughton, Janet Elizabeth
PublisherTuckamore Books
CitySt. John's, Nfld
ISBN Number1895387930 (pbk.)
DescriptorsDeath; English Language; Families; Friendship; Historical Fiction; Identity; Newfoundland and Labrador; Novel; Second World War; St. John's; War; Young Adult

This historical young adult novel, published in Newfoundland and the sequel to Catch me once, catch me twice, describes the end of the Second World War as it was experienced in St. John's, Newfoundland. Ev is devastated when she finally learns what happened to her father and decides never to forgive those responsible. Meanwhile, she competes with her best friend Peter Tilley for the scholarship that bears her father's name and experiences her first romantic relationship. Ev learns important lessons about herself and about forgiveness. Janet McNaughton lives in St. John's, Newfoundland


Newfoundland and Labrador

Age Range


Author Profile: 

It is the end of World War II, and Ev and Peter (Catch me Once, Catch me Twice) remain best friends. A few years have passed since their earlier adventures with the fairies; Ev’s brother Ian is now a toddler, and Ev and her family have moved out of her grandparent’s house and into Dr. Thorne’s house. Dr. Thorne is new to the city, and Ev is threatened by the obvious attraction he has for Ev’s mother, not to mention the special bond he shares with Ian. Frustrated by Dr. Thorne, and longing for her father’s return, Ev focuses her attention toward studying with Peter for an engineering scholarship created in honour of her father. However, the appearance of a mysterious soldier may hold answers about Ev’s father, answers she has been dreading. Make or Break Spring is a young adult historical fiction novel set in St. John's Newfoundland.


"The soldier was about five yards ahead. Peter kept losing sight of him in the crowd. Then, just when he was sure he’d lost track of him, the soldier’s head appeared again. “Excuse me, excuse me,” Peter said over and over, pushing past people best he could, closing the gap between them inch by inch, but never enough to see what was really happening. A feeling of dread and hopelessness overcame Peter, a feeling born of a nightmare.
    Then, suddenly, a gap opened in the crowd just in front of him. Peter plunged ahead, feeling like someone released from a trap. He was close enough now to see the soldier’s head and shoulders, close enough to see Ev not far ahead, still making her way to the platform and the train. Close enough to be sure that this soldier was watching Ev, following her." (74)