Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Canadian books about war

I’ve had these titles on my list-of-books-to-read for some time, but they are proving hard to get hold of in local libraries – so I’ve decided to put them together in a quick summary.

These books set in WW1 can be found under Teacher resources – Book Lists on the Canadian War Museum site. I haven’t included all the books on these lists, which are very comprehensive. Many are also available in French language editions.

Picture books

A brave soldier by Nicholas Debon (Groundwood, 2002)
Frank enlists in 1914 and travels from Canada to the trenches in Northern France. You can see some colour spreads here

Silver threads by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko (Fitzhenry  & Whiteside, 2004). 
Ivan, a recent Ukrainian immigrant, is interned as an enemy alien, while his young wife Anna waits for his return, hoping that the spider in their cottage is a good omen

A poppy is to remember by Heather Patterson, illustrated by Ron Lightburn (Scholastic, 2004)
Tells the story behind the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

Chapter books and novels

And in the morning by John Wilson (Kids Can Press, 2002)
Told in diary form by 16-year-old, Jim, who goes to war after his father is killed in battle. 

Brothers far from home: the WWI diary of Eliza Bates, Uxbridge, Ontario 1916 by Jean Little (Scholastic, 2003)
Eliza waits at home, hoping that her brothers Hugo and Jack will come back safely.

Charlie Wilcox and Charlie Wilcox’s Great War by Sharon E. McKay (Stoddart Kids, 2000 and Penguin, 2003)
Charlie, aged 14, from Newfoundland, stows away and send up as a stretcher bearer on the Somme

Escape! by John Reid (Fernwood Books, 2004)
Based on the true story of Leon Trotsky’s imprisonment in Nova Scotia during WW1 (I didn’t know that!!! But look, it’s true – in his own words)

Irish chain by Barbara Haworth-Attard  (Harper Collins Canada, 2004)
The story of the 1917 Halifax explosion when a ship carrying munitions collided with another ship – something else I didn’t know much about. More than 1800 people were killed, and thousands more wounded, and the noise of the explosion was heard hundreds of miles away – an astonishing (and terrible) story.

A kind of courage by Colleen Heffernan (Orca, 2005)
Hattie’s brother is away fighting, and her father hires a conscientious objector to help on the farm.

Lesia’s dream by Laura Langston (2005)
Another story about Ukrainain immigrants (some of whom are then classed as enemy aliens) focusing on Lesia and her family.

No safe harbour: the Halifax explosion diary of Charlotte Blackburn, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1917 by Julie Lawson (Scholastic, 2006)
The diary of 12 year old Charlotte, who ends up in hospital after the Halifax explosion.
Interestingly, there is also a NZ children’s book by David Hill titled No safe harbour, about the sinking of the Wahine.

The star supper: Book Three (our Canadian girl) by Troon Harrison (Penguin, 2006)
How Millie makes a happy Christmas, despite her father being away at war, by befriending the family of interned enemy aliens.

It's interesting to see the different themes and preoccupations that come through, including enemy aliens and the Halifax explosion. 

Other books that I have reviewed, written or set in Canada, include:
Linda Granfield’s Where poppies grow 
Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery
Uprooted: a Canadian war story by Lynne Reid Banks

Other Canadian authors are Eleanor Cooer (Sadako) and Iain Lawrence (Lord of the nutcracker men)  

No comments:

Post a Comment