I'm glad to be taking part in the fourth Nonfiction Monday roundup, hosted at Picture Book of the Day.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Lobster Press (May 25, 2007)
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know very much at all about Canadian history, so I was excited when I received a copy of Island of Hope and Sorrow: The Story of Grosse Île the first book in Lobster Press’s Canadian Immigration Series.
Organized into different time periods, the book tells us the story of the island, from its first use as a quarantine station for cholera in the early 1800’s to a biological weapons research site during WWII to its opening to the public as a historic site in 1988. Perhaps the most compelling part of the book is the story of Grosse Île’s function as a quarantine site and hospital to care first for European immigrants with cholera and then immigrants struck with typhus as they traveled to Canada on cramped and unsanitary “coffin ships” in attempt to escape the Irish Potato Famine. Located 50 km from
In addition to the main narrative, the book is loaded with images, journal entries, timelines, posters, and more that give readers a better idea of life on Grosse Île. In addition, a “History Note” sidebar on nearly every page gives tidbits of historical information.
Presenting a human face to immigration, this would make an excellent choice for anyone wanting to learn or teach about immigration, Canadian history, epidemics, and more.
Lookout for the second book in the Canadian Immigration Series: Pier 21: Stories from Near and Far due out in April, which I’ll be reviewing soon.