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FICTION: Communities in Canada, Past & Present
The Freedom of Jenny by Julie BurtinshawThe new novel by the author of two award-nominated books, Dead Reckoning and Adrift. With this work, Julie Burtinshaw returns to her forte: fastidiously researched and gripping historical fiction. The story revolves around Jenny Estes, who is born into slavery in the 1840s in Missouri. Through Jenny and her family, Burtinshaw tells the true story of the immigration of a small group of African Americans from the banks of the Mississippi to Saltspring Island, British Columbia, in the 1860s. This first fictional treatment of a fascinating and important piece of our history follows in the tradition of Barbara Smucker's classic Underground to Canada.Ages 11-14
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8553.U8216 F74 2005
Publication Date: 2006-02-10
Greener Grass by Caroline PignatKit Byrne's family is a strong one, but their strength and unity are being severely tested, as life becomes more and more desperate in 19th century rural Ireland. Lord Fraser is the wealthy landowner, from which the Byrne's and many other families rent their lands. When the potato blight hits, the farmers can no longer make their payments much less produce food for themselves, and the cruel system has no mercy as Lord Fraser wields an iron fist, driving families from their homes and burning their cottages. Kit's dreams are now dashed as her family experiences a series of tragedies, and as she undergoes a daunting event that tears her away from her family. With her father dead, she must fight for survival and help her ailing mother and siblings escape Ireland for good. This story is a glimpse into the tragic events of the Great Hunger, the famine that devastated Ireland, forcing thousands of impoverished families to seek better livelihoods outside of their homeland. Governor General's Literary Award winner 2009 CLA Children's Book of the Year Award shortlist, 2009 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People 2009 finalist Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards shortlist, 2010 Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009 Starred Choice Red Maple Book Award nominee 2010 Rocky Mountain Book Award Shortlist, 2011
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8631 .I4777 G74 2008
Publication Date: 2008-10-01
The Hollow Tree by Janet LunnFrom one of Canada's best loved children's writers comes the enthralling tale of a brave young girl caught up in the American Revolutionary War. It is 1777 and Phoebe Olcott is thrown headlong into the horrors of war when her beloved cousin Gideon is hanged for being a British spy. When she finds a message left by Gideon containing the names of Loyalist families to be protected by the King's army, Phoebe knows she must deliver the message to the general at Fort Ticonderoga. She sets out into the wilderness and soon meets up with Jem, a young Loyalist travelling to the safety of British Canada. As they travel across the country facing rebel guns, wild animals and worse, Phoebe and Jem discover they have a growing attraction for each other. But her own mission cannot be ignored and Phoebe once again finds herself alone, freezing and near death before she is reunited with Jem on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8573 .U64 H64 1997
Publication Date: 1997
On a Canadian Day by Rona Arato; Peter Ferguson (Illustrator)What better way for a young reader to truly understand another time than to get an intimate look at the daily life of another child? In On a Canadian Day, part of the On a Day Story Voyages series, Rona Arato introduces nine engaging fictional characters, and through their stories situates young readers perfectly in pivotal moments in Canadian history. Each chapter opens with a fictionalized account of a morning, afternoon, and evening in a child's day in a different time period. These stories open up a window onto places and times vastly different in so many ways from a modern child's world -- yet with many familiar emotions, too. The book begins with the story of an Aboriginal boy on the Great Plains in 1680 as he prepares for his first buffalo hunt. From there, readers will learn about a pioneer girl's day sugaring off and then read a boy's story about fleeing to Canada via the Underground Railroad, and more. Every riveting story is woven throughout with myriad, rich details of daily life -- eating, dressing, transportation, living arrangements, and, of course, the expectations and experiences of childhood in different times. Following each story is a photo essay that explores the era through archival images from the period. Through these stories from across time and across the land, a complex and fascinating portrait of a nation emerges.
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8601 .R35 O5 2009
Publication Date: 2009-10-01
From Scholastic's Dear Canada series:
Banished From Our Home by Sharon StewartThe latest addition to the bestselling Dear Canada series takes readers directly into the historic struggle between the French and English for control of the area. Angelique watches as families are torn apart and forced to settle far away from one another, and worries about her brother who is fighting for the Acadian cause. Will her family stay together during this dramatic time or will they be wrenched apart forever?
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8587 .T5183 B36 2004
Publication Date: 2004
A Country of Our Own by Karleen Bradford.It's 1866. The year before Confederation. Rosie has just gone into service with Mr. Bradley, a civil servant working in Quebec City, the bustling capital of the Province of Canada. When the capital is moved to the rough sawmill town of Ottawa, the Bradleys have to move there too. Rosie will desperately miss her own parents and siblings, and wonders if she will ever have a place in her own family again.
Hoping for Home: Stories of ArrivalIn this wonderful new short story anthology, eleven of Canada's top children's authors contribute stories of immigration, displacement and change, exploring the frustration and uncertainty those changes can bring. Told in first-person narratives, this collection features a diverse cast of boys and girls, each one living at a different point in Canada's vast landscape and history.
With unforgettable protagonists - such as Miriam, a Warsaw-ghetto survivor, now reunited with her family in Montreal; Wong Joe-on, a young Chinese immigrant who faces racism in a small Saskatchewan town; and Insy, an Ojibwe girl who makes her first trip to a "white" town in Northern Ontario - young readers will be moved by the opportunities and difficulties that these characters face, as each one ponders what it means to be Canadian, and struggles to fit in.
Hoping for Home includes stories by Jean Little, Kit Pearson, Brian Dowle, Paul Yee, Irene N. Watts, Ruby Slipperjack, Afua Cooper, Rukhsana Khan, Marie-Andrée Clermont, Lillian Boraks-Nemetz and Shelley Tanaka.
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8323 .I46 H66 2011
Publication Date: 2011
An Ocean Apart by Gillian ChanGillian Chan's latest addition illustrates the effect the Chinese Head Tax has on one young girl and her family. Mei-ling and her father are struggling to pay the head tax that will allow her mother and brother, who are still living in China, to come to Canada. They must have that money before the impending Exclusion Act bars any more Chinese from immigrating. What will happen if they can't come up with enough in time to reunite their family?
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8555 .H346 O25 2004
Publication Date: 2004-01-01
From Scholastic's I Am Canada series:
Blood and Iron: Building the Railway by Yee, PaulHeen's father and grandfather have brought their family in China to the brink of ruin with their gambling habits. To solve their money troubles, Heen and his father come to Canada to build the railway — a decision plagued by disaster.
The living conditions provided for workers are wretched and work on the railway is excruciating. Transporting tons of gravel and working in tunnels about to be dynamited proves to be deadly for many of his co-workers. Soon the friction between the Chinese workers and the whites, who barely acknowledge these deaths, reaches a fevered pitch. As an added stress, Heen's father has found some men to gamble with, which puts all of their earnings at risk.
Heen's only solace is his journal, where his chilling observations of the injustice and peril heaped upon the workers serve as an important testament to this dramatic era in Canadian history. Some 17,000 Chinese workers came to B.C. during the early 1880s; though not all stayed for the railway's entire construction, they formed three-quarters of the workforce.
Graves of Ice: The Lost Franklin Expedition by John WilsonFourteen-year-old George Chambers is aboard the HMS Erebus, one of two ships under the command of Sir John Franklin on his quest to discover the Northwest Passage. But when the Erebus and Terror are trapped in ice, more than 100 members of the crew die of scurvy, starvation and freezing. Only George and Commander James Fitzjames remain alive, and as starvation weakens him, George recalls the events that led him to join Franklin's expedition into Canada's desolate North. Perhaps the story he tells will be all that survives of Franklin's doomed Arctic expedition.
Storm the Fortress: The Siege of Quebec by Maxine Trottier"A young sailor is caught up in the naval siege of Quebec leading up to the battle on the Plains of Abraham. Fourteen-year-old William Jenkins is working at a printing house when he comes to the attention of navigator and naval officer James Cook. William signs up to serve with Cook on the warship HMS Pembroke, part of Britain's fleet setting out to take the French stronghold of Quebec. William soon learns that the world of a British sailor is a harsh one, especially when the ship lays siege to the fortress and is attacked by French fire ships - burning wrecks sent downstream to set the British warships on fire. On one raid, William is captured by the French allies, the Abenaki, and taken into Quebec itself, which is under constant bombardment from British cannons. With the siege strangling Quebec's lifelines, William finds a way outside the fortress walls just in time to join the British soldiers landing their boats and preparing to face the French on the Plains of Abraham. A dramatic story of the Seven Years' War, culminating in the siege and battle that claimed Canada for Britain."--From publisher.
When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson; Julie Flett (Illustrator)When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother's garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength. Also available in a bilingual Swampy Cree/English edition. When We Were Alone won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award in the Young People's Literature (Illustrated Books) category, and was nominated for the TD Canadian's Children's Literature Award.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 2016-12-01
Integrating Indigenous Content
I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis; Kathy Kacer; Gillian Newland (Illustrator)When Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school, she is confused, frightened and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from despite being told to do otherwise. When she goes home for summer holidays, her parents decide never to send her away again, but where will she hide and what will happen when her parents disobey the law?
Call Number: Floor 1, PS8607 .U6805 I2 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-04
Nokum Is My Teacher by David Bouchard; Allen Sapp (Illustrator); Northern Cree (Contribution by); David BouchardAnskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival Winner, Children's Book of the Year 2007 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, 2007 Bronze Medalist - Multicultural Picture Book Category Alberta Children's Book of the Year nominee 2007 Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009 CD included with book! Will you walk with me, Grandmother? Will you talk with me a while? I'm finding life confusing And I'm looking for some answers To questions all around me At that school and on the street. You have always been here for me Will you help me learn to see? Nokum Is My Teacher is the poetic story of a young aboriginal boy, posing questions to his grandmother, his "Nokum", about the wider world beyond the familiarity of their home and community. Through a series of questions, Nokum guides her grandson towards an understanding of his need to fit into and learn more about this large world beyond the reserve. Nokum offers her grandson a vision of a world he can enter through imagination and reading, while retaining respect for the ways of his people. By the conclusion of the book, the young grandson has learned many new ideas from his grandmother and discovered his own wisdom in dealing with the changes in his life. Nokum Is My Teacher is a delightfully packaged book and audio CD, combining the written text in English and Cree with the mesmerizing voice of author/storyteller extraordinaire David Bouchard. It is illustrated by the hauntingly beautiful artworks of Allan Sapp, Cree elder, Governor General's Award-winner, and Officer of the Order of Canada. The singing and drumming are done by Alberta's Northern Cree, who have been nominated for a Grammy Award (2007) in the 'Native American music album' category. Nokum Is My Teacher is also available in French/Cree text and audio as Nokum: Ma Voix et Mon Coeur. This is the first of a series of aboriginal books David Bouchard is developing with Red Deer Press.
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8553 .O795 N64 2006
Publication Date: 2006-11-21
Shi-Shi-Etko by Nicola Campbell; Kim LaFave (Illustrator)(K - 3) In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school. She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world -- the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping. Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss -- a loss that Indigenous peoples have endured for generations because of the residential schools system. Winner of the Anskohk Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award. Finalist for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Ruth Schwartz Award.
Call Number: Floor 1, PS8605 .A5475 S55 2005
Publication Date: 2005-08-09
Shin-Chi's Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell; Kim Lafave (Illustrator)Winner of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and finalist for the Governor General's Award: Children's Illustration This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too. As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko tells her brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the mountains, the rivers and the salmon. Shin-chi knows he won't see his family again until the sockeye salmon return in the summertime. When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko gives him a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from their father. The children's time is filled with going to mass, school for half the day, and work the other half. The girls cook, clean and sew, while the boys work in the fields, in the woodshop and at the forge. Shin-chi is forever hungry and lonely, but, finally, the salmon swim up the river and the children return home for a joyful family reunion.
Call Number: Floor 1, PS 8605 .A5475 S556 2008
Publication Date: 2008-12-02
These Are My Words by Ruby SlipperjackTwelve-year-old Violet Pesheens is taken away to Residential School in 1966. The diary recounts her experiences of travelling there, the first day, and first months, focusing on the everyday life she experiences--the school routine, battles with Cree girls, being quarantined over Christmas, getting home at Easter and reuniting with her family. When the time comes to gather at the train station for the trip back to the residential school, her mother looks her in the eye and asks, "Do you want to go back, or come with us to the trapline?" Violet knows the choice she must make.