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Dear Canada: Prisoners in the Promised Land: The Ukrainian Internment Diary of Anya Soloniuk, Spirit Lake, Quebec, 1914 Hardcover – Oct 1 2007

7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Canada (Oct. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439956927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439956925
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.4 x 19.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

MARSHA SKRYPUCH has become the pre-eminent children's writer on Canadian-Ukrainian history. She has won numerous awards and nominations for her books. Including the CCBC's Our Choice Award, Saskatchewan's Snow Willow Award and the 2004 Rocky Mountain book Award for Hope's War. She was also nominated for the W.O. Mitchell Literary Prize for her body of work and mentorship of other writers. Her most recent novels are Nobody's Child and Aram's Choice, and she has edited a new anthology of Ukrainian memoirs, Kobzar's Children.

Author's Residence: Brantford, Ontario

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Sherrard on Aug. 17 2007
Format: Hardcover
Marsha Skrypuch has written an absolutely lovely story in this, the newest volume of the Dear Canada series.

Prisoners in the Promised Land tells of one family's journey from their home in Austria-Hungary to a new life in the land of promise. Told through the eyes of young Anya Soloniuk, readers will find their hearts fully engaged as they read how Anya and her family's bright hopes are replaced by hardships and imprisonment.

Skrypuch manages to maintain a tone that is neither self-pitying nor judgemental. Rather, she expertly sustains the innocent, gentle voice of Anya, who wonders why her family was encouraged to come to a country only to be placed in an internment camp, though they had done nothing wrong.

Start to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 3 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: I am reading this whole series. I picked this particular volume because I am participating in a WWI reading challenge.

I've only read a couple of Skrypuch's books so far, but she has become one of my favourite Canadian juvenile authors. Mostly, her historical fiction revolves in some way around Ukrainians as that is where her heritage comes from and her own family genealogy is always a great starting point. Skrypuch does write about other topics but this recurring theme is interesting as it is unique. Once again, I have learned something new from one of Marsha's books. I had no knowledge whatsoever of the Ukrainian internment camps in Canada during WWI; of course everybody knows of the Japanese ones during WWII but why not the earlier Ukrainian ones? Perhaps because they make very little sense at all from a political point of view.

This book is a fantastic read. While it takes place primarily in Canada, it does start with the boat trip to the new land, the WWI story is told through the newspapers and discussions of the Ukrainian people as they sit caught in the middle of this war. Their homeland is the battlefield in Eastern Europe for a long period of time and yet the Ukrainians are neither friends with the Austrians/Germans who own their land or the Russians who invade it. All news they hear is bad, because whether it is the Allies or the "enemy" winning on their homeland it means their people, friends, relatives are in danger and dying. Through the news the family receives and letters from home and friends across Canada, until letters are halted due to the War Measures Act, we get to see a side of WWI which I've never experienced before. All my WWI reading has been about the trench warfare in France/Germany.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Chipman on Oct. 30 2007
Format: Hardcover
Marsha Skrypuch breathes life into a little-known part of Canadian history. Young Anna's roller coaster of hope and despair in Canada's hinterland is haunting. Hard to put down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had relatives who migrated to Canada in the same period. My grand-aunt wrote to us from Canada until she died. She learned to write in Ukrainian by writing letters to us, as she was illiterate when she migrated at an early age. She visited us on two or three occasions during the Soviet period on her tourist visa. She was literally snatched from Moscow by my grandfather and would come to the West Ukraine for only few short hours (otherwise they would notice her absence).
My grand-aunt never wrote or told us about all the difficulties the migrants faced in Canada. If I had read the book earlier, we would have been more appreciative of her visits and her packages, which she regularly sent to us. The book was truly an eyeopener. It is another piece in the jigsaw, not only of Canadian history but the history of the Ukraine as well. The history, which is still generally unknown to the Ukrainians, and is not yet written about in Ukrainian history books.
The story based on facts draws the reader to know more, to feel more, and to understand more.
I only wish I have the translation of the book to the Ukrainian language that I can give it to many of my Ukrainian friends and relatives.
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