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Dear Canada: Hoping for Home

Stories of Arrival

by Marie-Andrée Clermont & Jean Little

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list price: $14.99
also available: eBook
published: 2011
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Hoping for Home: Stories of Survival (Dear Canada)

The theme of arrival — whether through immigration, displacement, change or new experiences — is explored by boys and girls who bravely faced the challenges of settling into a new life. In these 11 original stories, set at various points in Canada’s vast landscape and history, we hear from some of Canada’s most renowned authors.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
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In these eleven original stories, characters bravely face the challenges of settling into a new life.

In 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.

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Excerpts from Hoping for Home

Ever since we left England, I've had to nod and smile and tell everyone we meet how much I like Canada. I don't! Yes, the people have been immensely friendly, but the land is too vast and wild. I miss Devon's green fields and hedges, our neat villages and small shops. Canada frightens me.When Jane showed me the letters she wouldn't let me cry. She told me I must try to be brave. I am so, so tired of hearing those worlds.— "Marooned in Canada", by Kit Pearson

This place is a prison. Ba views me as a toddler. When I go pump water, I return quickly, before he comes looking for me. When the restaurant emptied this afternoon, I thought to walk around town. Ba said no, it was too hot outside. He added that the Westerners dislike us and might do harm. Instead, I washed the window again.Why come to Canada if I cannot explore it?— "Prairie Showdown", by Paul Yee

I feel as if I have an album of pictures in my head that opens every so often and I can see photographs of the war, the soldiers, guns, people running... Our poor granny, who got left behind in Poland all alone... Papa saying we couldn't take her along because we only had visas for the four of us... Grandpa getting beaten by a Nazi soldier on a ghetto street... — "In the Silence of My Heart", by Lillian Boraks-Nemetz

... Then, when the afternoon ended and we came down our road, Will was waiting on the front steps. When he saw be coming, he jumped up and ran to the door yelling, "Hattie's home! Hattie's home!"And I was.— "Hattie's Home", by Jean Little

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About the Authors

Marie-Andrée Clermont

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Jean Little

Jean Little is one of Canada’s most beloved and distinguished authors. She has written fifty books which have been translated into twenty languages. Among them are some of Canada’s best-loved works for children, such as Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird, Mine for Keeps and From Anna. Jean began writing as a child and has never stopped, despite the challenge of her blindness. She has received numerous national and international awards and has been made a member of the Order of Canada for her outstanding contribution to Canadian children’s literature. Jean lives in Guelph, Ontario with her sister, great-nephew, four dogs and two cats.
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