The Way It Is

The Way It Is


By Donalda Reid


It may be the '60s - the era of equal rights and free love - but two teens find that change is slow in coming to their small town... 

To Ellen Manery, a brilliant, introverted, socially isolated fifteen-year-old, there is nothing good about the summer of 1967, especially when her parents decide to move to a small town in the interior of British Columbia. None of the big ideas of the decade – the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, women’s rights – have had much of an effect on this small community.

Ellen has always been more interested in studying than a social life, but that begins to change when she meets Tony Paul, an eighteen-year-old who is a Shuswap Indian and lives on the nearby reserve. It is Tony’s friendship that gives Ellen the strength to endure the loneliness, discrimination, and sexism she faces during her last year in high school. But as their friendship turns into something deeper, they must decide if they can break free of the small minds around them and forge their own future.

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About the Author

Donalda Reid, a retired elementary school principal, spends her time traveling the world, writing, drawing, and painting. Profits from the sale of her memoir Captive, A Survival Story, the story of her experience being captured by Hutu rebels in the Congo in 1998, help support African Grandmothers affected by HIV/AIDS through the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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Product Information

  • Release: October 11, 2010

  • $11.95 Paperback

  • 264 Pages

  • 5.5 x 8.25

  • Teen Fiction

  • Ages 13-18 / Grades 8-12

  • Guided Reading: Z+

  • ISBN: 9781897187807


  • Character Education
    > Prejudice & Tolerance
    > Strong Female Characters

  • Language Arts
    > Historical Fiction

  • History & Social Studies
    > Canadian History

  • Reflecting Diversity
    > First Nations & Indigenous Peoples


  • 2012 White Pine Award Finalist - Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading

Praise for The Way It Is

"Donalda Reid shows Tony and Ellen's friendship as one of equals who respect each other. The open ending shows them stronger than when they met, able to face the changing times and pursue their dreams." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Ellen and Tony, supportive of each other, succeed not because it makes a good ending, but because, as the novel develops, we see them mature and earn their places in a time when this achievement would have been very difficult for both a young woman and a young man who was Indian." - Deakin Review of Children's Literature

"Well-researched and well-written... This delightful book would be fun background reading for any social-science course. Plot analysis and thematic development are also strong features of this novel." - Resource Links