Below are book reports by a member of the Calgary Branch. If anyone wishes to have a book report included please contact the executive.
With Nothing but Our Courage
The Loyalist diary of Mary MacDonald
By Karleen Bradford Published by: Scholastic
Report by: Haruna B
“With Nothing but Our Courage” follows Mary MacDonald as her family flees the province of New York and begins their journey to Johnstown Quebec. Since her brother Angus left to fight with the British army, Mary’s family have been determined to stay loyal to the British king and have been thrown out of their house and jobs. On their way to Quebec, Mary learns how it feels to live in poverty and meets a girl named Hannah whose loyalist family is also going to Quebec. Once the family reached Canada, it was a bittersweet month as Mary’s small baby sister Margaret passed away because of the flu, and the MacDonald family also finally heard from Angus who was coming to Canada soon.
Once winter arrived, Angus came home and met his family as well as Hannah’s older sister Molly with whom he fell in love with and the two were married, bonding Mary and Hannah as sisters. In the end Mary’s new ‘Canadian’ sister Ann was born bringing the MacDonald family joy after Margaret’s death.
I think this book will be a good learning experience for 10 to 13 year-old U.E.L. members.
By: Donna Smyth Published by: Formac Jan 1, 1991
Report by: Haruna B
In the year of 1782, a Loyalist’s daughter Kitty Byles has decided to go searching for her rebel uncle Thomas who joined the Yankee rebels to fight for independence against the British rule. The Byles family left Boston in 1776 and escaped as refugees to Halifax. Now Kitty is determined to go back. Dressed as a boy, Kit (as she now calls herself) begins her trip as a cabin boy on a ship sailing out of Nova Scotia. Suddenly, they are attacked by Yankee privateers! Sent with an injured sailor Kit finds herself in Plymouth, from which she makes her way to Boston harbor where she meets her aunts and grandfather living as loyalists in Boston. Once they receive a letter from Thomas, she is reminded of her quest to find him. So one night back in her boys clothes, Kit leaves to a rebel army camp just outside of New York. There she is reunited with her uncle Thomas who is less than pleased to see her. Kit is told to leave as soon as possible for she is a girl and a Loyalist. At the camp Kit befriends a runaway slave boy Abraham who happens to be the lost Son of Solomon, her family’s black servant. Together Thomas, Abraham and Kit hatch an escape plan, though sadly Thomas will have to stay behind with the Yankee troops. Through Sir Guy, Abraham and Kit have a ship ride arranged so they can return home to Halifax. When Kit arrives home she is warmly greeted by her family and Abraham is welcomed by his father. On their
second day home Kit receives a letter from her uncle Thomas promising that he will return home one day when peace is regained.
I think that this book will be of good use to the U.E.L. and that 9 to 11 year-old members will also enjoy learning from Kit’s adventure in the Loyalist Runaway.