Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 11 to 17
- Grade: 6 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Award-winning writer Sylvia Olsen's sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won, Counting on Hope tells the story of an English girl named Hope and a Lamalcha girl named Letia, whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures collide. The action is set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island. Alternating between free verse and prose, Counting on Hope follows the girls' individual story lines before, during and after their meeting. The novel captures the wonder and joy with which Hope and Letia develop their friendship and describes the tragic events, suspicion, fear and confusion that characterize so many early encounters between Europeans and the First Peoples. Ultimately a story of hope, the novel follows the two girls out of childhood, off their island paradise and into the complex realities of an adult world.
About the author
"A wonderful and poignant tale that will do an excellent job of introducing children to some of British Columbia’s early history. Highly Recommended."
"A very differently thought-out book and sets a new standard in Canadian children's historical fiction...The wonderful image that young readers will carry away is one of two girls, dancing together on the beach."
Canadian Children's Book News
"Powerfully describes the period of cultural collision and colonization in British Columbian history and should appeal to readers with an interest in western historical fiction."