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Recent titles from Ukrainian-Canadian writers and illustrators

Five Stalks of Grain
Adrian Lysenko and Ivanka Theodosia Galadza, ill.
University of Calgary Press, Nov.
During the 1930s, the Holodomor, a man-made famine, killed millions of Ukrainians. At the time, Soviet officials vowed to execute any person found to be hoarding even “five stalks of grain.” This poignant (and, sadly, timely) work of historical fiction tells the story of the orphaned children of a Ukrainian woman accused of and executed for hoarding, as they try to survive a humanitarian disaster. The graphic novel, which was started in 2014, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, is published in time for the 90th commemoration of the Holodomor.

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Scholastic, Sept.

Set during the 1930s Terror-Famine in Ukraine, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s new work of historical fiction is a story of survival, unity, and perseverance that follows Nyl and Alice as they set in motion a plan to save themselves and their community from erasure.

Olya & Olena Escape the Invaders
Olya Illichov and Maddy Shyba; Diana Bezukh, ill.
UpRoute Books, Aug.

The Russian invasion of Mariupol forces young ballet students Olya and Olena to flee. With the help of strangers, they make their way through the city and forest to a train headed for safety. The pair eventually make it to Canada where they, too, help others devastated by the war. Publisher proceeds for Olya & Olena Escape the Invaders go to charities helping Ukrainian refugees.

Ghosts in a Photograph: A Chronicle
Myrna Kostash
NeWest Press, Oct.

Prolific Edmonton author Myrna Kostash, whose grandparents all immigrated to Alberta from Western Ukraine in the early 20th century, traces her extended family’s past – which includes the unsolved murder of her great-uncle, who may have been a collaborator, in post-war Soviet Ukraine. The history of immigration, partisan allegiances, political and social history are woven together with fragments of family biography to examine how identity and narratives of heritage are constructed.



October 26th, 2022

2:14 pm

Category: Reading list