Home ChildrenCreated by Bookgirl on June 8, 2011
The Little Immigrants is a tale of compassion and courage and a vivid account of a deep and moving part of Canadian heritage. In the early years after Confederation, the rising nation needed workers that could take advantage of the abundant resources. Until the time of the Depression, 100,000 impoverished children from the British Isles were sent o …
"To thousands of young people, emigration has been the golden bridge by which they have passed from an apparently hopeless childhood to lives of useful service and assured comfort, in this new land."
- Mr. G. Bogue Smart, Inspector of British Immigrant Children and Receiving Homes, 1915
Many thousands of Canadians are descended from young immigrants …
Mary Janeway is the story of a little girl's childhood while living on a farm as a domestic servant in the late 1800s. Based on extensive historical research, Mary's story begins in Scotland where family circumstances lead to her being sent to Canada as a home child. Separated from her siblings, Mary, at age eight, is sent to a farm near Innerkip, …
Between 1868-1924, 80,000 British children, most of them under fourteen, came to Canada to be apprenticed as labourers and domestic servents. Joy Parr's study of these children, first published in 1980, became a significant resource for courses in women's history, family history, immigration history, and labour history. Out of print for several yea …
Through the diary of 10-year-old Victoria Cope, we learn about the arrival of ragged Mary Anna, one of the thousands of impoverished British children who were sent to Canada at the beginning of the century. Mary Anna joins the Cope family as a servant and is treated well, but she has to cope with the initial apprehension of the family members and t …
“The dearest and most moving and delightful child of fiction since the immortal Alice.” Mark Twain
Eleven-year-old Anne Shirley has never known a real home. So when she is sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert at Green Gables farm, she thinks she’s found one at last. Green Gables is the most beautiful place Anne has ever seen and she …
Daring was the fashionable amusement among the Avonlea small fry just then. It had begun among the boys, but soon spread to the girls, and all the silly things that were done in Avonlea that summer because the doers thereof were “dared” to do them would fill a book by themselves. . . .
Now, to “walk” board fences requires more skill and steadiness of head and heel than one might suppose who has never tried it. But Josie Pye, if deficient in some qualities that make for popularity, had at least a natural and inborn gift, duly cultivated, for walking board fences. Josie walked the Barry fence with an airy unconcern which seemed to imply that a little thing like that wasn’t worth a “dare.” Reluctant admiration greeted her exploit, for most of the other girls could appreciate it, having suffered many things themselves in their efforts to walk fences. Josie descended from her perch, flushed with victory, and darted a defiant glance at Anne.
Anne tossed her red braids.
“I don’t think it’s such a very wonderful thing to walk a little, low, board fence,” she said. “I knew a girl in Marysville who could walk the ridge-pole of a roof.”
“I don’t believe it,” said Josie flatly. “I don’t believe anybody could walk a ridge-pole. You couldn’t, anyhow.”
“Couldn’t I?” cried Anne rashly.
“Then I dare you to do it,” said Josie defiantly. “I dare you to climb up there and walk the ridge-pole of Mr. Barry’s kitchen roof.”
Anne turned pale, but there was clearly only one thing to be done. She walked towards the house, where a ladder was leaning against the kitchen roof. All the fifth-class girls said, “Oh!” partly in excitement, partly in dismay.
“Don’t you do it, Anne,” entreated Diana. “You’ll fall off and be killed. Never mind Josie Pye. It isn’t fair to dare anybody to do anything so dangerous.”
“I must do it. My honour is at stake,” said Anne solemnly. “I shall walk that ridge-pole, Diana, or perish in the attempt. If I am killed you are to have my pearl bead ring.”
Anne climbed the ladder amid breathless silence, gained the ridge-pole, balanced herself uprightly on that precarious footing, and started to walk along it, dizzily conscious that she was uncomfortably high up in the world and that walking ridge-poles was not a thing in which your imagination helped you out much. Nevertheless, she managed to take several steps before the catastrophe came. Then she swayed, lost her balance, stumbled, staggered and fell, sliding down over the sun-baked roof and crashing off it through the tangle of Virginia creeper beneath — all before the dismayed circle below could give a simultaneous, terrified shriek.
If Anne had tumbled off the roof on the side up which she ascended Diana would probably have fallen heir to the pearl bead ring then and there. Fortunately she fell on the other side, where the roof extended down over the porch so nearly to the ground that a fall therefrom was a much less serious thing.
Nevertheless, when Diana and the other girls had rushed frantically around the house — except Ruby Gillis, who remained as if rooted to the ground and went into hysterics — they found Anne lying all white and limp among the wreck and ruin of the Virginia creeper.
“Anne, are you killed?” shrieked Diana, throwing herself on her knees beside her friend. “Oh, Anne, dear Anne, speak just one word to me and tell me if you’re killed.”
To the immense relief of all the girls, and especially of Josie Pye, who, in spite of lack of imagination, had been seized with horrible visions of a future branded as the girl who was the cause of Anne Shirley’s early and tragic death, Anne sat dizzily up and answered uncertainly:
“No, Diana, I am not killed, but I think I am rendered unconscious.”
This book unmasks one of the greatest human interest stories in Canadian history: the emigration of tens of thousands of children from Britain, from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, to become home children in Canada. Through first-hand accounts and archived materials, Corbett sensitively and accurately records the pilgrimage of the children who, …
In 1878, Glasgow shoemaker William Quarrier founded an organization that offered help to the thousands of desperate, poverty-stricken children in Glasgow's infamous slums. A few years later Quarrier's Village was opened, providing a refuge for the abandoned and the orphaned in the rolling fields of Renfrewshire. Since these beginnings, Quarriers ha …