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Hold Fast

Written by Kevin Major

  • 192 Pages
  • 9781554983766



Publication Date August 01, 2013

Hold Fast is the widely acclaimed story of a young boy's struggle to survive in a new environment and his fight against those who stand as threats to his pride in himself and his way of life.

Michael turned fourteen in May. By June, both his parents are dead, victims of a car crash. And for Michael, who has lived all his life in a small Newfoundland outport community, this means being suddenly uprooted and sent to live with relatives in St. Albert, a city hundreds of miles away.

Hold Fast is the story of Michael's struggle to survive in his new world. In vivid, honest prose, it depicts his fight against those who threaten him - the loud-mouthed Kentson who makes fun of the way he talks at school, and his uncle who tries to rule life at home with an iron hand. It is also the story of the friendship that develops between Michael and Curtis, his cousin, and of his new uncertain feelings for Brenda.

The book was written, Kevin Major says, “out of love for a way of life and a people. It is an appeal for us Newfoundlanders to be like certain of the species of seaweed that inhabit our shores, which, when faced with the threat of being destroyed by forces they cannot control, evolve an appendage to hold them to the rocks, a holdfast.”

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Awards: Text 1978


Kevin Major
Kevin Major is one of the best Canadian writers of his generation, and in 1992 he won the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. He has written sixteen novels for young people and adults, several of which have been translated into other languages. His books include Hold Fast (Hans Christian Andersen Honor List, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association Award and the Ruth Schwartz Award), Far from Shore (winner of the Canadian Young Adult Book Award), and The House of Wooden Santas (Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Ann Connor Brimer Award). Most recently, Ann and Seamus was shortlisted for eight book awards, including the Governor General's Award, and has been adapted into an opera. Kevin has recently been awarded an honorary degree by Memorial University, and he lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.


"...Michael contains a bit of Holden Caulfield and a bit of Huckleberry Fin, but there is also something authentically Newfoundland about speaks honestly from a regional consciousness." Saturday Night

"A classic innocent who sometimes sounds like a sort of Newfoundland Holden Caulfield, Michael is more than redeemed as a character by the directness and strength of his emotions...Major projects all the actions as Michael experiences it, with the same directness and vigor." Kirkus Reviews

"Michael is strong and likeable, and by the time he returns to his beloved village we know him well and are not at all surprised when everything works out for the better." School Library Journal