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Literature / Dear Canada

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Dear Canada is a series of historical novels for older girls first published starting in 2001 to the present by Scholastic Canada Ltd. They are similar to the Dear America series, each book is written in the form of the diary of a fictional young woman living during an important event in Canadian history. Today, the Dear Canada books are very popular amongst Canadian readers.

Each book is written in the form of a diary of a young woman's life during an important event or time period in Canadian history. The Dear Canada series covers a wide range of topics, including: The arrival of the filles du roi to New France, the arrival of settlers to Canada, the banishment of the Acadians, the Seven Years' War, the War of 1812, the Metis, World War I, World War II, and many other time periods. The breadth of historical topics covered in these books through fiction makes the Dear Canada series a favorite teaching device of history school teachers around the country.

Here's the official site.

The books in order by era are:

  • Alone in an Untamed Land: The Filles du Roi Diary of Hélène St. Onge, Montreal, New France, 1666.
  • Winter of Peril: The Newfoundland Diary of Sophie Loveridge, Mairieís Cove, New-Found-Land, 1721.
  • Banished From Our Home: The Acadian Diary of Angélique Richard, Grand-Pré, Acadia, 1755.
  • The Death of My Country: The Plains of Abraham Diary of Geneviève Aubuchon, Quebec, New France, 1759.
  • With Nothing But Our Courage: The Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald, Johnstown, Quebec, 1783.
  • Whispers of War: The War of 1812 Diary of Susanna Merritt, Niagara, Upper Canada, 1812.
  • Footsteps in the Snow: The Red River Diary of Isobel Scott, Rupertís Land, 1815.
  • A Rebelís Daughter: The 1837 Rebellion Diary of Arabella Stevenson, Toronto, Upper Canada, 1837.
  • A Sea of Sorrows: The Typhus Epidemic Diary of Johanna Leary, Ireland to Canada East, 1847.
  • Where the River Takes Me: The Hudson's Bay Company Diary of Jenna Sinclair, Fort Victoria, Vancouverís Island, 1849.
  • A Trail of Broken Dreams: The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer, Overland To The Cariboo, 1862.
  • A Desperate Road To Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson, Virginia to Canada West, 1863-1864.
  • A Country of Our Own: The Confederation Diary of Rosie Dunn, Ottawa, Province Of Canada, 1866.
  • A Ribbon Of Shining Steel: The Railway Diary of Kate Cameron, Yale, British Columbia, 1882.
  • Blood Upon Our Land: The North West Resistance Diary Of Josephine Bouvier, Batoche, District Of Saskatchewan, 1885.
  • Days Of Toil And Tears: The Child Labour Diary of Flora Rutherford, Almonte, Ontario, 1887.
  • Flame and Ashes: The Great Fire Diary of Triffie Winsor, St. Johnís, Newfoundland, 1892.
  • Orphan at My Door: The Home Child Diary of Victoria Cope, Guelph, Ontario, 1897.
  • All Fall Down: The Landslide Diary of Abby Roberts, Frank, Alberta District, 1902.
  • That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1912.
  • Prisoners in the Promised Land: The Ukrainian Internment Diary of Anya Soloniuk, Spirit Lake, Quebec, 1914.
  • Brothers Far From Home: The World War I Diary of Eliza Bates, Uxbridge, Ontario, 1916.
  • No Safe Harbour: The Halifax Explosion Diary of Charlotte Blackburn, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1917.
  • If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor, Toronto, Ontario, 1918.
  • An Ocean Apart: The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-Ling, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1922.
  • A Prairie As Wide As The Sea: The Immigrant Diary of Ivy Weatherall, Milorie, Saskatchewan, 1926.
  • Not A Nickel to Spare: The Great Depression Diary of Sally Cohen, Toronto, Ontario, 1932.
  • To Stand on My Own: The Polio Epidemic Diary of Noreen Robertson, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1937.
  • Exiles from the War: The War Guests Diary of Charlotte Mary Twiss, Guelph, Ontario, 1940.
  • Turned Away: The World War II Diary of Devorah Bernstein, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1941.
  • Torn Apart: The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1941.
  • Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1948.
  • These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens, Northern Ontario, 1966.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Abusive Parents: While not Jasper's actual parent, his master Carl Stone is supposed to his guardian until he is eighteen. He starves Jasper to the point Jasper steals from the dog, who is just as starved. When Jasper panics from having never seen a cow, Stone's response is to break his arm with a spade. Jasper is regularly beaten and even had his clothes confiscated. It is a small wonder Jasper ran away. He is also a Big Brother Bully to his widowed sister and prevents her from seeing her best friend. She writes in a letter that she is grateful when he is out and that he never married because his wife would have been wretched.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Hélène is fourteen and Jean is thirty when she accepts his marriage proposal, and another girl marries a much older man who had been twice married before.
  • Babies Ever After: Some books have a boy that the heroine meets and befriends, after initially not getting along. The epilogue will mention them marrying and having children. Notable examples are Hélène and Jean, Geneviève and Andrew, Josephine and Edmond, Anya and Stefan, Harriet and Talbot, Julia May and Noah.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Some of the books end with this type of ending, with some of the heroine's friends and family dead or missing. The epilogues also count as well. Also overlaps with the Downer Ending.
  • Break the Cutie: Rose goes from a cheerful little girl to a hardened refugee in Pieces Of The Past.
  • Cool Aunt: Hélène's aunt Tante Barbe, who owns an inn and takes Hélène under her wing and is quite the deadpan snarker.
  • Cool Big Sis: the main characters show elements of this if they have younger siblings, and their older sisters are this as well.
  • Dead Guy Junior: If the epilogueís children are named, they will more likely than not be named after family members and friends who died during the diaryís period.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Commonplace due to the diaries taking place the past.
    • In A Desperate Road to Freedom, Julia May and Noah get looked down upon by their fellow white townsfolk, with both Julia May's teacher and white friend's mother frowning upon her dreams to be a teacher.
    • Even more so for Alone in An Untamed Land, Hélène and her sister Catherine are chosen to be filles à marier, French girls who are sent to New France (now Montreal) to marry men and raise the population due to the skewed gender ratio. Hélène is thirteen and turns fourteen while Catherine is sixteen when this is brought up. Hélène is pressured about marriage despite being only fourteen, with a suitor commenting that girls even younger than her marry, and her diary ends with her accepting a proposal from her friend's single father, who also comments that he is not that old, only thirty. Another girl also marries a much older man. There is also some discriminatory comments about Indigenous people due to the animosity between both, with some who kill French settlers.
    • Orphan at My Door features heavy discrimination against Home Children where they are viewed as diseased in both mind and body, heavily abused and the Sadist Teacher is disappointed when any of them show good learning results.
  • Drama Queen: Dorothy writes in her book that the mean girl whom she slapped after the latter said something insulting about the RMS Titanic sinking played up her injury for all it was worth, including sitting out of gym class.
  • Evil Brit: Everywhere in Banished From Our Home. They treat the Acadians as barely human and take everything from them.
  • Historical Domain Character: The books often portray several well-known historical figures in the books, although they are only background characters and/or briefly mentioned or seen.
  • Noble Savage: Books set in The Wild West or the New World often use this trope.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Charlottes, Charlotte Blackburn and Charlotte Mary Twiss, as well as two Marys, Mary MacDonald and Mary Kobayashi that have been protagonists. There have also been two Duncans, Mary MacDonaldís eventual husband and Charlotte Blackburnís twin brother.
  • Run for the Border: Both Julia May and Mary do this in their stories, going to Canada to escape slavery and anti-British sentiment, respectively.
  • Second Love: Andrew for Geneviève after Étienne dies.
  • Point of View: All of the books are written in first person narration.
  • Roman ŗ Clef: Usually it will recreate things that happened in history, only on a smaller scale and before the actual even happens.
  • Scrapbook Story: Every book in the series is in a diary format.
  • Shown Their Work: At the end of each book is "Life In (insert time era here) Canada" where it shows how life was like in Canada as well as historical background information.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The books narrator is somewhat unreliable, considering the age and the point of view of the girl.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Each book ends with an epilogue, explaining what happens to the character, her family and her friends (when applicable) after the book ends.