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This Land: A Cross-Country Anthology of Canadian Fiction for Young Readers

by Kit Pearson, ed.

In This Land, award-winning children’s writer Kit Pearson entices young readers to explore the varied worlds of Canada through short fiction and novel excerpts. The selections are arranged west to east by province, ending with the North.

Budge Wilson’s “Dreams,” set in a small fishing village on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, explores the distance between dreams and reality, between a coastal fishing village and a city university. In Kevin Major’s “Hold Fast,” 14-year-old Michael and his younger brother deal with the recent deaths of both parents. An excerpt from Brian Doyle’s Angel Square takes us to wintertime Ottawa, as the main character investigates a brutal beating of his friend’s father. The excerpt from Janet Lunn’s historical Shadow in Hawthorne Bay is almost a surreal journey with 16-year-old Mary as she searches Upper Canada for her Scottish cousin, Duncan. In Saskatchewan, Farley Mowat offers hilarious antics from Owls in the Family, a long-time Canadian favourite. In an excerpt from Tikta’liktak by James Houston, readers are stranded on a stark, cold island, fighting for survival. In “My Name Is Seepeetza,” Shirley Sterling introduces 12-year-old Martha Stone, who has been legally forced to leave her British Columbia home in 1958 for the Kalamak Indian Residential School. All selections in This Land are strong voices, each complementing the next.

Brief author biographies and an index by author would have been convenient features. Nonetheless, Kit Pearson’s anthology will be enjoyed by young and old and should be on bedside tables and in classrooms all over Canada as a passport for young students to travel across this land.


Reviewer: Sylvia Gunnery

Publisher: Viking/Penguin Books Canada


Price: $25

Page Count: 320 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 0-670-87896-0

Released: Aug.

Issue Date: 1998-9

Categories: Anthologies

Age Range: ages 9–14