Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Banished from Our Home: The Acadian Diary of Angelique Richard (Dear Canada) by Sharon Stewart

Title: Banished from Our Home: The Acadian Diary of Angelique Richard (Dear Canada)
Author: Sharon Stewart
Published: 2004
Published By: Scholastic Canada
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Middle-grade, Historical Fiction
Date Read: May 15, 2016
Rating: 4/5

12 year old Angelique Richard was born and raised on her family’s farm in Grand Pre, an Acadian settlement which was located in present day Nova Scotia. In 1775 the British took over the land and began placing restrictions on the Acadian people. Banning them from travelling, using their boats and even owning and operating firearms. Eventually all the men and boys (including Angelique’s father and brothers) would be arrested. This installment of the Dear Canada series follows the young girl’s experiences in the days leading up to and following the expulsion of the Acadian people, from their homes and land.

The Dear Canada series is a collection of middle-grade books that follow children living through some of the biggest events in our country’s history. I have several on my ‘to be read’ list, but this is the first one I have had the opportunity to read so far.

It is important to teach the younger generations of our history so that it isn’t lost and forgotten. This Dear Canada series is wonderful because it describes the specific events in ways that middle-grade readers can understand.

Banished from Our Home wasn’t bogged down with the politics of the situation. Instead it gave a quick snapshot of everyday Acadian life and their traditions. The descriptions of their farms and the Grand Pre area sounded absolutely beautiful.

Angelique was a brave and likable character who fought to keep her family together during such a traumatic time. Also included in this book is a more detailed history of the Acadian expulsions and heritage, pictures, maps and a glossary of the French words that were used throughout the story.

Reading this book has really sparked my interest in learning more about the Acadian (now referred to as Cajun) culture and their people. I would recommend Banished from Our Home to anyone interested in Canadian history, especially those who read middle-grade fiction. 

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