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Jake and the Kid

Jake and the Kid

When Ma, the Kid, her twelve year old son, and Jake, the hired man, first appeared on the pages of Maclean's and shortly after on CBC Radio, the lively boy and his cranky hero found their way into the hearts of thousands of readers.

Now, in this new edition of Jake and the Kid, Crocus, a prairie town in the forties and fifties, comes alive once again. In these lovingly rendered stories, we encounter the glorious minutia of small town life on the Canadian prairie. Jake and the Kid are surrounded by an entire community of richly eccentric characters: old Sam Gatenby, a rival to Jake and just as cantankerous; Miss Henchbaw, the stern and proper Rabbit Hill schoolteacher; and Mayor MacTaggart, the owner of the town's General Store. In all, W.O. Mitchell created about eighty characters to populate the town, including Daddy Johnson, the oldest man in Canada; Repeat Golightly, the philosophizing barber; and Professor Noble Winesinger, a conman with a heart.

Touching and laugh-out-loud funny in equal measure, this classic Canadian story collection epitomizes the magic of W.O. Mitchell's storytelling. Pitting tall tale against reality, Mitchell delivers a realm resplendent with a vibrant setting, a compelling cast of characters, and everyday events that speak directly to what it means to be human.


W.O. Mitchell is one of the most recognized Canadian authors of the last century. He was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1914, and during a varied career he was everything from a Depression hobo to the fiction editor of Maclean's. His best-loved book, Who Has Seen the Wind (1947) is hailed as the quintessential Canadian coming-of-age novel. Other works include Jake and the Kid (1961), The Kite (1962), The Vanishing Point (1973), How I Spent My Summer Holidays (1981), Since Daisy Creek (1984), Ladybug, Ladybug (1988), According to Jake and the Kid (1989), Roses are Difficult Here (1990), For Ark's Sake (1992), An Evening with W.O. Mitchell (1997) and the play The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon (1993). He won the Leacock Medal for Humour for Jake and the Kid and again for According to Jake and the Kid. Mitchell was made an officer in the Order of Canada in 1973 and has been the subject of an NFB documentary entitled W.O. Mitchell: A Novelist in Hiding.

"The stories are as fresh as ever as one is lead with warmth and compassion through tales that release knowing chuckles and outright laughter, offset by the poignancy of life." — The Daily Gleaner

192 pages
Pub date: October 24, 2008