Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 0
- Grade: p to 12
- Reading age: 0
Seventeen-year-old Ann Harvey is one of the great unsung heroes of maritime history. In 1828, off the Newfoundland fishing village of Isle aux Morts, Ann Harvey, her father and younger brother, came upon the wreck of the Despatch, an Irish immigrant ship originally destined for Quebec City. In thick fog and fierce wind it had run aground. Ann's courage and strength at the oars of the rescue boat were largely responsible for saving more than 160 dirt-poor passengers stranded amid the raging storm, left "like seabirds clinging to the rocks." Ann's courageous feat along the isolated south coast of Newfoundland has been all but forgotten.
Ann and Seamus brings the remarkable story of Ann Harvey to today's readers. In a poetic and powerful retelling, Kevin Major portrays the shy young woman thrust into extraordinary circumstances. It is the story of dramatic rescue, but it is also the story of dreams and fate, of a hard life and young love. For also at its center is Seamus, a young Irishman who had set sail with hopes of a new life in America. Ann and Seamus is historical fiction that sweeps across ages and nationalities. In rich yet accessible narrative verse, it draws the reader into the drama of sea rescue without losing the tender and impetuous voices of youth at the core of the story.
About the authors
Governor General Award winner Kevin Major has published 17 books, for both young people and adults. His first, Hold Fast, is considered a classic of Canadian young adult fiction, and was recently released as a feature film. No Man’s Land, about the Newfoundland Regiment in WWI, was published in 1995 to much acclaim. Major’s adaption has been brought to the stage by Rising Tide Theatre for more than a dozen seasons.A history of Newfoundland and Labrador: As Near To Heaven By Sea was a Canadian best-seller and finalist for the Pearson Non-Fiction Prize. Ann and Seamus, a verse novel, was shortlisted for a total of ten awards. It has since been turned into an opera, which has been performed internationally. New Under the Sun, the first in a trilogy of historical novels for adults and called “well written, nuanced, and compelling” by Canadian Literature, was nominated for an Atlantic Book Award.John Moss, writing in “A Reader’s Guide to the Canadian Novel,” has said, “Kevin Major is among the best Canadian writers of his generation. He has established himself as a figure of singular importance in our literature.”
David Blackwood has received many national and international awards, including the Order of Canada. His etchings, paintings and monotypes appear in numerous private and public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery of Australia the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gellery of Ontario, the Uffizi in Florence, the Chase Manhattan Bank and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. David Blackwood lives with his wife, Anita, in Port Hope, Ontario. He still maintains a studio in Wesleyville, Newfoundland.
- Short-listed, Stellar Book Award (Teen Reader's Choice Award of BC)
- Short-listed, Atlantic Bookseller's Choice Award
- Commended, White Ravens
- Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
- Long-listed, ReLit Awards - Fiction
- Short-listed, Ann Connor Brimer Award
- Short-listed, IODE Violet Downey Book Award
- Runner-up, Mr. Christie's Book Award
- Commended, CCBC Our Choice (starred selection)
- Short-listed, Writer's Alliance of Newfoundland Heritage and History Book Award
- Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
- Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards: Text
This is an adventure, coming-of-age, and love story, all set within vividly evoked Newfoundland history and presented through stunningly immediate poetry.
Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW
David Blackwood's ghostly blue-and-grey prints float through this long, haunting poem...
Globe and Mail
The surge of the language, and the intensity and elemental simplicity of the action and characters, make this a book that lives on in the imagination, a book to read aloud, a book to press on friend both teenage and adult.
Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW