John and Meg Bains haven't seen their mother or their Ottawa home in over eight months. Stranded in an isolated Nova Scotian fishing village they desperately need to raise the money for passage on a steamer to Montreal, but the whole country is suffering from a Depression and work is scarce.
Their friend Canso has vowed to help them, but he arrives home to find his father has died and his boat has been seized for debt. Canso, John and Meg take the boat and sail for Newfoundland, hoping to catch enough fish to cover the debt and their passage. Soon after their arrival, however, the boat is seized again and Canso is thrown in jail. The Bains beg the people of the Newfoundland community for help and against all odds they band together to confront their common difficulties, and to send the children on their way.
Set against the gritty background of dirt-poor 19th century fishing communities, First Spring on the Grand Banks is the story of two young people's struggle to keep their family together, against great odds.
This is the third book in the Bains series of historical novels, well-researched, action-filled narratives following the travels of one family across Canada--from Newfoundland to Alberta-- in search of a better life during the hard times of the 1870s.
"First Spring on the Grand Banks is excellent reading for grades four and up. Informative and interesting, this book is hard to put down. It really captures the life and struggles of fishermen and their families long ago."
"...impossible to put down..."