A Year of Borrowed Men a “valuable and touching read…on the cusp of Christmas”—CanLit for LittleCanadians

December 22nd, 2015

A Year of Borrowed Men | Michelle Barker & Renné Benoit | Pajama Press“…Released on Remembrance Day, A Year of Borrowed Men will be a valuable and touching read for years to come in classrooms commemorating those whose lives were touched by war.  But on the cusp of Christmas–also a memorable event in the story–A Year of Borrowed Men will speak to inherent kind-heartedness and be a reminder to demonstrate our humanity even in the most challenging of circumstances.   The potential, unspoken, that the Schottke family’s adherence to the golden rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” might extend to their own family members away at war, is undeniable.  But their charity to strangers in a time of war, when others only demonstrate anger and suspicion, is a worthwhile lesson in empathy.  Michelle Barker gets the tone right for this message, telling her mother’s story simply and forthrightly, as a child might see the circumstances.  The fear and confusion is there but it is superseded by a fundamental goodness to do what is right.  Look at Renné Benoit’s unassuming illustrations of this child, this farm, the men and relive a simple though still harsh time, when war was horrific but there was a gentleness that could still be found. Thank goodness.”
—Helen Kubiw

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