Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction General

Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters

A Story of HMCS Sackville and the Battle of the Atlantic

by (author) Brian Bowman

illustrated by Richard Rudnicki & Susan Tooke

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Jun 2021
General, Action & Adventure, Historical
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2021
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7


A middle-grade graphic novel exploring the Battle of the Atlantic from a young prairie boy's perspective.

They said I was a sailor, now. But this was my first time on the ocean. And I was going to war...

By 1942 most of Europe was under the heel of the Nazis. Only the United Kingdom remained free to oppose them. Knowing Britain needed supplies from overseas, the German navy built a large fleet of U-boats to hunt merchant ships. It was up to Canada to protect all shipping from North America to Britain. Corvettes like HMCS Sackville were crewed by young men from across Canada, and from all walks of life. The Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945), the longest of the Second World War, was Canada's battle, and the outcome sealed Hitler's fate.

Following young Wally as he leaves the family farm on the prairies to pursue a daring career in the navy—leaving love interest Winnie behind—this striking graphic novel is a high-stakes adventure, a love story, and an important historical lesson. Features meticulously detailed black and white drawings, an illustrated diagram of the Sackville, information on wartime propaganda, glossary, and an illustrated map.

About the authors

Brian Bowman grew up in the Qu'Appelle Valley of southern Saskatchewan where his family raised politics, grain, and cattle. After grad school, an adventurous nature led him to try many vocations before settling on a writing career that evolved from speeches and advertising to journalism and editing. Still a resident of Saskatchewan, he now writes graphic novels and mostly true stories drawn from Canadian history. Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters is his first book.

Brian Bowman's profile page

Richard Rudnicki est réputé pour ses tableaux dépeignant la Nouvelle-Écosse ainsi que pour ses albums jeunesse primés. Richard enseigne le dessin et anime fréquemment des ateliers dans des écoles. Il habite Halifax.


Richard Rudnicki is an artist known for his paintings of Nova Scotia as well as for his award-winning children's books. Gracie, The Public Gardens Duck by Judith Meyrick won the Lillian Sheppard Memorial Award for Excellence in illustration and was finalist for the APMA Best Atlantic Published Book Award. Richard also teaches figure drawing and portraiture and frequently gives school workshops. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Richard Rudnicki's profile page

Born in New Jersey, Susan received her professional training from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia and the New School in New York. She moved to Canada in 1980, and has made Halifax, Nova Scotia her home. Working predominantly as a painter, Susan illustrated her first book in 2000, and has received the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, and the Mayor’s Award for Brave Jack and the Unicorn. Her work is consistently chosen by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre as a starred selection for the Our Choice Award. In describing her artwork, Susan states: "I breathe real life into my images—the sounds, smells, colors, and idiosyncrasies of specific places and the people who inhabit them."

Susan Tooke's profile page

Other titles by Richard Rudnicki

Other titles by Susan Tooke

Related lists