A Rose Grows
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 23 September 2009

A Rose Grows: Fighting Cancer, Finding Me by Olga Stefaniuk Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Andréa Ledding $16.95 ISBN 978-1-894431-33-0 This memoir starts off by bringing the reader to small town prairie life in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Growing up in the village of Hubbard, the author lives and works at the general store with her parents and siblings. The reader has an enjoyable look into her childhood and family life in a then-bustling railroad village – a glimpse into a bygone era where ‘fast food’ was the barrel of pickled herrings in the front of the general store, and Christmas oranges were mainly prized because their wrappings meant softer paper in the outhouse. After this introduction, the story follows her journey to Saskatoon, career, marriage, two children – and cancer. When Stefaniuk finds a lump in her breast at the age of 42, the reader shares her journey of survival, loss, perseverance, and determination to reach out to others in the midst of her own struggle to not only survive – but thrive. Along the way, Stefaniuk starts local cancer support groups, brings cancer retreats to the province, and makes friends wherever she goes. She carries…

Canadian Shield Alphabet
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 14 January 2009

The Canadian Shield Alphabet by Myrna Guymer Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Marie Powell Mendenhall $24.95 CDN ISBN: 978-1-894431-23-1 If you thought you knew every word that could be used to illustrate the alphabet in a child’s picture book, you haven’t seen this alpha-book. Kookum and kinnikinnik, qiviut and ungulates are among its illustrated concepts. What’s a qasgiq, or an ulu? The Canadian Shield Alphabet has the answers. More familiar terms like northern lights (“Aurora Borealis”) and meteorites connect school-aged readers to a variety of subjects, as they learn about the land, people, and culture important in several Canadian provinces crossing Shield country. Taiga and tundra are among its landscapes, as are rivers, lakes, swamps, forests. Animals like voles, pelicans, seals, otters, and polar bears help tell the story of this northern environment. As well, birds like the peregrine falcon, snowy owl, ptarmigan, and Canada Goose make an appearance. The land abounds with history as well, and these pages also mention such explorers as Alexander Mackenzie, David Thompson, and Alexander Henry from the late 1700s. Myrna Guymer of Denare Beach, Saskatchewan uses the knowledge she’s gained on her travels by canoe and airplane, to share the adventure…

Prairie West School Division: A Rural Legacy
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 29 October 2008

In spite of no technology or teaching aids other than a blackboard (chalk allotment was one piece per day), students and staff have fond recollections. The school became the hub of the farming community. Dances, church services, recruiting meetings during World War 1, fowl suppers, Christmas concerts, and summer picnics took place at the school. Many teachers were young women teaching on permit. Some left after a short time, being unable to manage the responsibility and isolation of their teaching positions. Neighbourhood bachelors, eager to change their marital status, anticipated the arrival of the new teacher. Blumenhof School #4089 added a second classroom in the 1940’s. As the new foundation was being poured, the students threw the school strap into the cement. At King’s County School #4428, students used thistles to build forts. Part of the entertainment was setting fire to your rivals’ fort!

Wild Justice

Les Langager’s first book, “Wild Justice” betrays its prairie, western title with espionage and international intrigue. In a series of intertwining characters from Israel, Alberta, and Saskatchewan’s north, the patterns don’t seem clear at first. But as the tale unfolds the connections made in the past come back to haunt and bless us at the same time. For we know not what fate has in store for us until we see it for what it is.