Dear Canada: A Time for Giving

SKU: 9781443133739

Karleen Bradford, Sarah Ellis, Jean Little, Carol Matas, Nora McClintock, Ruby Slipperjack
Grade Levels:
Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight
Book Type:
Scholastic Canada
Copyright Date:

Sale price$12.99


Dear Canada: A Time for Giving, Ten Tales of Christmas is a charming collection of first-person narrative stories about Canadian winter and Christmas celebrations from a variety of young women in a diary format. Outstanding Canadian fiction authors and one First Nation author present situations based on their most recent Dear Canada diarists. Contributors include Jean Little (2 stories Exiles from the War and All Fall Down), Barbara Haworth- Attard (To Stand on My Own), Sarah Ellis (That Fatal Night), Susan Aihoshi (Torn Apart), Norah McClintock (A Sea of Sorrows), Karleen Bradford (A Country of Our Own), Janet McNaughton (Flame and Ashes), Carol Matas (Pieces of the Past), and Ruby Slipperjack (Winter with Grandma). Ruby Slipperjack (Ojibwe) offers a unique entry based on her upcoming Dear Canada novel, These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens. In the story set in a small railway village in northern Ontario from November 1965-February 1966, Violet (nicknamed Pynut) spends her first winter away from her home reserve, enjoying alone time with her energetic grandma. In November 1965, Violet has just turned twelve and writes brief diary entries about living in this foreign village that does not celebrate Christmas. New challenges present themselves for Violet to overcome. An unfriendly black dog harasses her everyday she walks to school; and there are surprises such as the friendship with an older Ojibwe teen who is currently attending residential school. Next year Violet will be attending the same residential school. Violet hears about all the rules at this school and wonders about her future. Violet's grandma serves as a midwife for the small village and is called away one winter night to assist with a premature birth. Violet shops with her grandma; helps gather in wood for the stove; and goes ice fishing. The simple life of this railway village is enlivened when the railroad worker's family moves into the village. The eldest daughter is Violet's age and the two become friends. Violet learns a meaningful lessen about inequality of income in the final scene of the short story and comes to the realization that life can be somewhat complicated. This Winter with Grandma story is a fine example of Ruby Slipperjack's skill in presenting a young woman's perspective through the diary entries rather than simply telling readers about the reality of northern Ontario life in the 1960s. The book is richer for the inclusion of a First Nation perspective in the collection.

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