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Children's Nonfiction Historical

Catherine Parr Traill

Backwoods Pioneer

by (author) Carol Martin

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
May 2004
Historical, Girls & Women, Pre-Confederation (to 1867)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2004
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0 to 18
  • Grade: p to 12
  • Reading age: 0


Life should have been easy for Catharine Parr Traill. She grew up at the beginning of the nineteenth century in a big rambling country house in England with five sisters and two brothers, spending her days embroidering, reading Latin and Shakespeare, being cared for by servants and exploring the countryside. But things changed suddenly when the family business failed and her father died. For awhile Catharine wrote children's books to help earn money for the family. But eventually, like many others, she sailed to the New World to make a new life with her husband, Thomas Traill. Despite a long voyage on board a crowded ship and succumbing to cholera, she eventually made it to Ontario in 1832.

About the author

Carol Martin is an editor and the author of several books of non-fiction, including Arthur Lismer, North: Landscape of the Imagination and Canadian Nomads: Canadian Travel Writing in the Twentieth Century. She has written book reviews for the Toronto Star and the Kingston Whig-Standard and is a member of the editorial board of Canadian Forum. Her young adult biography, Martha Black: Gold Rush Pioneer, is a gripping account of one woman's strength and endurance during the Yukon Gold Rush. Carol lives in Thomasburg, Ontario.

Carol Martin's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice

Editorial Reviews

This slim volume will prove an invaluable resource to young scholars, with its detailed information, glossary and suggestions for further reading. Martin has produced an excellent introduction to the life of a remarkable woman in Canada's early history. Highly recommended.

Canadian Children's Literature - CBRA

Other titles by Carol Martin