Full Steam to Canada

16 November 2011

Full Steam to Canada
by Anne Patton
Published by Coteau Books for Kids
Review by Catherine Fuchs
$8.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-457-6

Full Steam to Canada takes the reader along on a capricious journey from Victorian England to the wilderness of Canada in the early 1900’s. All of this is told through the eyes of 10 year old Dorothy Bolton. Young readers get to follow Dorothy and her new friends as she travels with her family across the Atlantic and across Canada to start a new life on the prairies.

Anne Patton’s latest novel is based on a true story that has magical beginnings in the chance story telling of an elderly woman. More than a quarter century ago, Anne Patton taped an interview with the original ‘Dorothy’, and built on these memories a fictional cast of characters venturing to start a new life in the Barr Colonies of the Canadian Prairie in the year 1903. Many of Dorothy’s journeys and observations of her new life were further based on the archives and diaries of the original settlers from the Barr Colonies in Saskatchewan.

The historical context in which this book is written will take the reader back in time. Young readers will surely enjoy following Dorothy’s journey from a strict upbringing in Victorian England to her being transported to a new feeling of freedom that she gets to enjoy on her travels to a strange new land. Full Steam to Canada is the perfect book for a young reader to learn about Canadian history while reveling in the daily adventures of a young girl embarking on a new life.


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