In the first book, Dorothy’s family makes the arduous journey to the Canadian Northwest Territories as part of the Barr Colony group in 1903. When the rest of her family falls seasick on the journey, Dorothy experiences freedom she has never had before. When they arrive in Canada, they take the train to the tent city of Saskatoon. Things are different than in England – even getting the small things like food and water takes a lot of work– but Dorothy is excited about the adventure and her new life.
In the second book, her family is ready to make the final leg of their journey from Saskatoon to their new homestead, several days’ travel away by horse-drawn wagon. Unfortunately, there is an outbreak of measles in the camp, and Dorothy’s mother has to stay behind. So Dorothy sets out with the rest of her family and a few other people they met on the first part of their journey. It’s a good thing Dorothy has grit, because they will face many daunting adventures before they can build their new home.
These stories are based on the recollections of Dorothy Boan, who came to Canada as a child with the Barr Colonists, and the diaries of some of the other people who were there. To see some of Anne’s research and hear Dorothy’s further thoughts on the journeys, check out Anne’s Barr Colony Adventure website.
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In August 2014, Linda Aksomitis and Sharon Plumb presented this slideshow at the Chinook Teachers Association annual conference. It describes some of our recent books in various age and genre categories and gives links to curriculum goals.