Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘world-war-I’

“This moving book will enlighten,” The Calgary Herald says of Dance of the Banished

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“Based on true events, this story takes place in Anatolia and Canada in 1914, during the break-out of the First World War. When Ali moves to Canada to secure a better life for himself and Zeynep, they communicate by journals. It’s a love story filled with tragedy when Ali is forced into a Canadian internment camp, and Zeynep faces horrors as the Ottoman Army marches through her villages. This moving book will enlighten and appeal to readers ages 12 to adult.”

—Barbra Hesson

Bear on the Homefront is “Heartwarming,” says The Calgary Herald

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_RGB_72dpi“In the first book of Teddy, A Bear in War, we follow the little bear as he’s shipped off to keep Aileen’s Daddy company during the war. Her father never returns but Teddy does, and he now sits in a glass case at the Canadian War Museum. In this second book, Aileen is working as a nurse. She presents Teddy to children who have come to live temporarily in the safety of Canadian homes. These two heartwarming stories, with softly coloured illustrations, will be read and appreciated by ages five to adult.”

—Barbra Hesson

Bear on the Homefront “a highly recommended excellent discussion starter”—Resource Links

Posted on October 27th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-resBear on the Homefront continues the true life adventure of a Teddy Bear begun in the book A Bear in War. Poignant and tender in its writing, this picture book helps to teach today’s children about real life experiences during World War II. Bear on the Homefront, told from the bear’s point of view, recounts how children were sent from England to Canada for safe keeping during the war and follows a young boy and girl, along with Teddy, who became guests of a family living on a farm in western Canada. The story shares a touch of their lives over the five years they spent on the farm, including how much they miss their parents and their home in England. Teddy, too, misses his family, Nurse Aileen. When the war is over and William and Grace go home to England, Teddy, too, is sent home to Nurse Aileen in Montreal.

An excellent springboard for classroom investigations about World War II and its affects (sic) on all aspects of life. Also, a highly recommended excellent discussion starter and catalyst for reflection on the affects of war on children. In addition, using both together provides the impetus for research into the Canadian War Museum and its artifacts, along with the importance of family history, first hand accounts of historical events and primary sources of information in our society.”

The National Reading Campaign recommends Dance of the Banished for adults as well as teens

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“…Zeynep, fierce and bold, and Ali, caring and principled, live in the same village in Anatolia and plan to marry. Unexpectedly, Ali is sent to Canada and Zeynep is left behind. Each writes in a journal for the other, but as war comes to both countries it is unlikely their words will ever be shared. Still, they keep on. Zeynep writes an eyewitness account of the genocide from the point of view of the Alevi Kurds, telling a little known side of this tragic story. Ali, in turn, gives an accounting of life in an internment camp in, surprisingly, Kapuskasing. For each, the journal entries are a coping mechanism, a way to bear witness to the atrocities of war and ultimately, to bring justice.

Skrypuch’s compelling characters give an authentic voice to this well researched story. It is definitely a book for adults as well as teens. And although it is a story of war it includes moments of great joy, making it much more than a tragedy…”—Penny Draper

Click here to read the full review.

Dance of the Banished “meticulously researched and sensitively written”—Urve Tamberg

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“…Meticulously researched and sensitively written…In her nineteenth book, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch again gives a revealing and compassionate voice to an under-represented group of people, and shines a light on little-known events in history. Writing about historical injustices for young adults requires a solid grip of the events, sensitivity, and the ability to juggle multiple perspectives in order to create a compelling story that not only keeps us turning the pages, but also brings forward truths that may have been forgotten or buried. Dance of the Banished enlightens us about the plight of the Alevi Kurds during World War 1, saddens us as we find out about the massacre of the Armenians, and maybe even embarrasses us as we discover how “foreigners” were treated in Ontario. Her characters are human, and multifaceted, and make us think about how we would react in times of great stress if our homeland, families, or loved ones were in danger. The answers are never easy, and Marsha does not shy away from difficult and heart-wrenching choices.”

Click here to read the full review.

Dance of the Banished Book Launch

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by pajamapress

On Friday, August 22nd at 11 am, one hundred plaques were unveiled across Canada. They commemorated Canada’s enemy alien internment operations in the First World War, a little-known part of our history that saw Canadian citizens imprisoned in camps across the country because they had immigrated here from nations with which the British Empire was now at war.

Plaque

The vast majority of internees were Ukrainian, targeted because their passports read “Austrian.” Canadian immigration officials did not make a distinction between ethnic Austrians and others who then belonged to—and were even persecuted by—the Austrian empire. Similarly, all immigrants from the Ottoman Empire were labelled “Turks.”

In 1914, one hundred of these “Turks”—really Alevi Kurds—were rounded up in Brantford, Ontario, on the charge of having plotted to destroy the post office. Although the charge was proven to be false, they were sent to the wilderness of Kapuskasing to build and then occupy a prison camp there.

At Friday’s ceremony, hosted by the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. John, Ukrainians came together with Armenians, Kurds, dignitaries, and supporters of Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, who put together many pieces of this history while researching her newest novel, Dance of the Banished. This young adult historical novel tells the stories of two Alevi teenagers in the First World War: Ali, who comes to Brantford to work and is interned in Kapuskasing, and his fiancée Zeynep, who is left behind in their homeland of Anatolia where she helps other Alevi Kurds rescue 40,000 of their Armenian neighbours from the Armenian Genocide.

A launch was held for Dance of the Banished following the plaque unveiling. Below, reviewer Helen Kubiw of CanLit for LittleCanadians (left) poses with the author and a signed copy of the book.

MarshaAndHelen

For more information about Dance of the Banished, visit the following links.

For more information about the recognition of Canada’s internment operations, visit the links below.

Books to Remember World War I

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.

Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skyrpuch
Publication date: August 22, 2014

DanceOfTheBanished_RGB_72dpiAli 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?

A Bear in War written by Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines

A Bear In War case mechIn 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.