New Canadian Historical Fiction in Overdrive Part 1

 

Canadian Historical Fiction 1

We have added many historical fiction novels into Overdrive this week. Many of them are for our younger readers. We will highlight them in two parts and here is part one:

After Peaches

After Peaches by Michelle Mulder

Ten-year-old Rosario Ramirez and her family are political refugees from Mexico, trying to make a new life in Canada. After being teased at school, Rosario vows not to speak English again until she can speak with an accent that’s one hundred percent Canadian. Since she and her parents plan to spend the whole summer working on BC fruit farms, she will be surrounded by Spanish speakers again. But when her family’s closest friend Jose gets terribly sick, Rosario’s plans start to unravel. Neither Jose nor Rosario’s parents speak English well enough to get him the help he needs. Like it or not, Rosario must face her fears about letting her voice be heard.

Note: There is a teacher’s guide to After Peaches here.

Back to Batoche

Back to Batoche by Cheryl Chad

“A century is only a spoke in the wheel of everlasting time.” -Louis Riel.

In 1885, Batoche is a dangerous place to be! The discovery of a magic pocket watch at the Batoche National Historical Site hurls Max, Kaeleigh and Liam back in time to the eve of the greatest battle fought in the North West: the Battle of Batoche!

The North West Field Force sent by Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald is about to attack the Métis of the small village. Soldiers march and the bell of Batoche rings out in warning as the three time-travelling siblings, together with their new friend Isidore, find a way to help Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel lead their people during the North West Resistance. It’s an adventure like nothing they could have imagined, full of danger, intrigue and mystery!

Note: There is a teacher’s guide for Back to Batoche here.

Belle's Journey

Belle’s Journey by Marilynn Reynolds

Set on the prairies during the twenties, Belle’s Journey is a moving story of steadfast devotion and a heroic fight for survival.

The Big Snapper

The Big Snapper by Katherine Holubitsky

Ten-year-old Eddie lives with his mom and grandparents in a small cabin on the Queen Charlotte Islands. A year earlier, Eddie’s dad took the ferry to the mainland and never returned. Eddie loves going fishing with Granddad and listening to his tall tales about the big snapper. Eddie believes if they catch such a fish, it might change his family’s fortune. Mom decides to turn their cabin into a bed and breakfast. Some of the guests appreciate island life, but many do not. When Granddad falls ill and must go away for treatment, Eddie worries that he too may not come back. Already hurt and confused by his father’s disappearance, upset by the attitudes of the tourists, and now missing his beloved grandfather, Eddie goes fishing alone in Granddad’s skiff. Soon he is struggling with more than the need to stay afloat.

Note: You can find a Teacher’s Guide for Big Snapper here.

Camp X

Camp X by Eric Walters

It’s 1943, and nearly-12-year-old George and his older brother Jack are spending a restless wartime summer in Whitby, Ontario, where their mom is working at a munitions plant while their dad is off fighting the Germans. One afternoon, the boys stumble across Canada’s top-secret spy camp-and so begins an exciting and terrifying adventure as George and Jack get caught up in the covert activities of Camp X.

Fascinated by Camp X and its secrets, the boys begin to suspect local townspeople of being spies. Is the police chief keeping tabs on people for enemy purposes? Is Jack’s boss at the newspaper really amassing information for sinister reasons?

Unable to resist the camp’s allure, the boys keep going back to find out more details of what’s going on-they even meet William Stephenson, the Man Called Intrepid himself. They also attract the attention of a very sinister character, someone who is determined to use George and Jack’s knowledge against the Allies, no matter the consequences . . . or the casualties.

Catching Spring

Catching Spring by Sylvia Olsen

The year is 1957, and Bobby lives on the Tsartlip First Nation reserve on Vancouver Island where his family has lived for generations and generations. He loves his weekend job at the nearby marina. He loves to play marbles with his friends. And he loves being able to give half his weekly earnings to his mother to eke out the grocery money, but he longs to enter the up-coming fishing derby. With the help of his uncle and Dan from the marina his wish just might come true.

Note: You can find a Teacher’s Guide to Catching Spring here.

Chaos in Halifax

Chaos in Halifax by Cathy Beaveridge

Twelve-year-old Jolene is determined to find independence from her brother, Michael, during a family trip to research the Halifax explosion of 1917 for her father’s Museum of Disasters. When her grandfather finds a time crease into the past, Jolene discovers a new friend and the importance of family and loyalty in a world torn apart by World War I. Once Michael joins them, however, the past suddenly becomes much more complicated. He inadvertently threatens Jolene’s friendship with a grieving family, and his careless comments spark speculation that they are spies. Together, the twins try to reconcile the honour and horrors of the Great War as they struggle with the knowledge that Halifax will soon be devastated by the collision in the harbour between the Mont Blanc, laden with explosives, and the Imo. When Michael attempts to change history, the twins are led to the brink of destruction.

Discovering Emily by Jacqueline Pearce and Emily’s Dream by Jacqueline Pearce

Young Emily Carr has no interest in learning to be a lady. She loves animals and the outdoors, and she is beginning to discover that what she loves most of all is drawing and painting. Will she find a way to develop her talent in the straitlaced world of nineteenth-century Victoria, British Columbia? Discovering Emily is the first of two books in a series.

Note: You can find novel studies for these two books on Jacqueline Pearce’s website.

Ellie’s New Home by Becky Citra

Ellie and her little brother Max find themselves moving from their grandmother’s comfortable home in England to Upper Canada. Their mother is dead, Father wants to start over again, and in 1835 there are many opportunities for settlers in British North America. Despite the strangeness of this vast new world, Ellie is sure things will turn out all right, as long as the family stays together. But once they are in Upper Canada, Father leaves Ellie and Max with strangers on an isolated homestead, while he goes on ahead to find land and build a cabin. Although the mother and father are kind to her, Ellie makes an enemy of their daughter Mary, who is insulted by the newcomer’s distant manners, fine clothes and talk of her London home. Ellie’s loneliness and discomfort, however, gradually turns into a growing fear. Where is Father? Why hasn’t he come back to them? A gripping story for young readers that explored the world of early settlers.

The Glory Wind by Valerie Sherrard

A young boy must come to terms with the moral prejudices of his small town in rural 1950s Ontario when he befriends the daughter of a young widow who moves in next door. Gracie is unlike anyone Luke has ever met – fun, charming, imaginative and full of life. But when the townsfolk discover that her mother’s past is less than completely honourable, they set out to isolate both mother and daughter. This striking new novel from Valerie Sherrard explores themes of friendship, loyalty, hypocrisy, and forgiveness.

Reviews by Overdrive

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