Posted on July 28th, 2014 by pajamapress
One hundred years ago today, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, launching the Great War that we know today as World War I. Pajama Press is honoured to work with authors and illustrators who create books about this war for new generations, passing on memories of the past so that it need never be repeated.
Ali and his fiancée Zeynep dream about leaving their home in Anatolia and building a new life together in Canada. But their homeland is controlled by the Turkish government, which is on the brink of war with Britain and Russia. And although Ali finds passage to Canada to work, he is forced to leave Zeynep behind until he can earn enough to bring her out to join him.
When the First World War breaks out and Canada joins Britain, Ali is declared an enemy alien. Unable to convince his captors that he is a refugee from an oppressive regime, he is thrown in an internment camp where he must count himself lucky to have a roof over his head and food to eat.
Meanwhile, Zeynep is a horrified witness to the suffering of her Christian Armenian neighbours under the Young Turk revolutionary forces. Caught in a country that is destroying its own people, she is determined to save a precious few. But if her plan succeeds, will Zeynep still find a way to cross the ocean to search out Ali? And if she does, will he still be waiting for her?
In 1915, 37-year-old Lawrence Browning Rogers enlisted in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles, leaving behind his wife, two children, and their farm in East Farnham, Quebec. Over the next two and a half years, the family exchanged hundreds of letters, and daughter Aileen sent her beloved Teddy overseas to keep her father safe. Teddy returned home safely, but Lieutenant Rogers did not; he was killed in the battle of Passchendaele. Eighty-five years later, Lawrence’s granddaughter found Teddy, the letters, and other war memorabilia packed away in a briefcase. Now Lawrence’s great-granddaughter Stephanie Innes and children’s author Harry Endrulat have used those documents to reconstruct a moving story of one family’s love and sacrifice—a story shared by the families of so many soldiers who have lost their lives in the defense of their country.
Accompanied by family photographs and Brian Deines‘ poignant art, A Bear in War is more than one family’s testament to a brave soldier. It is a gentle introduction to war, to Remembrance Day, and to the honor of those who have served their countries.