In the late 1800s, Canada’s prairies were the destination for thousands of settlers. Among them were the Caswells, who made the long journey from a comfortable home in Ontario. Before fourteen-year-old Maryanne departs from her hometown of Palmerston in 1887, she promises to write to her grandmother about her journey to Clark’s Crossing, near the present day city of Saskatoon.
In these fascinating, true letters, Maryanne writes vividly about the fun of the train ride and the near impossible trek across muddy cart tracks with the family’s laden wagon. As the oldest, Maryanne helps with many of the back-breaking and never-ending chores in the fields and at the homestead. Tales of courage, adventure, loneliness, sorrow, and delight flow from Maryanne’s pen. This is a powerful testament from an astute and sensitive young girl.
About Maryanne Caswell
Maryanne Caswell’s grandmother kept all their correspondence and returned the letters to her granddaughter when Maryanne married Thomas Hilliard. The letters were first published in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix newspaper in 1952 near the time of Maryanne’s death.
Hardcover | $16.95
Published by Tundra Books Mar 14, 2001| 88 Pages| 7 x 9| Middle Grade (10 and up)| ISBN 9780887765506
“…a tale of extraordinary hardship conquered through courage and humour. Maryanne’s voice is lively and immediate.” –The Globe & Mail
“From Maryanne’s deeply detailed reports of her new experiences, readers get a fascinating glimpse into the reality of pioneer life.” –CM Magazine
“Anyone who enjoys the Little House series will find this girl’s story just as courageous.” –ABA Kids’ Pick of the List
“The narrative is filled with fascinating practical details, such as the making of a sod house, or “coffee” from left-over barley, that are reminiscent of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. But Caswell’s prose style is much more literary than Wilder’s, often attaining lyrical heights as she notes the beauty of prairie birds, flowers, and sunsets.” –Quill & Quire
“An authentic view of life as it was lived over a century ago on the prairies.” –Monterey County Family