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JULIE LAWSON's own grandfather was hospitalized in Halifax at the time of the explosion. He recalled the nurses running so quickly to tend to the wounded, "you could see their ankles" — a rare thing in 1917. Lawson is the award-winning author of Dear Canada: A Ribbon of Shining Steel, as well as many other picture books and novels for children. Her best known are White Jade Tiger, Fires Burning, A Morning to Polish and Keep, Kate's Castle and Too Many Suns, as well as the Scholastic picture book, Whatever You Do, Don't Go Near That Canoe!