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Children's Fiction Adolescence

Foreign Field, A

by (author) Gillian Chan

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2002
Adolescence, Friendship, Military & Wars
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2002
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2002
    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: 10
  • Grade: 5 to 9


Life has been tough for 14-year-old Ellen Logan. With her country embroiled in the Second World War, she's forced to shoulder many family responsibilities. Life's even tougher for Stephen Dearborn, a young British pilot in training at the local airfield. As Ellen and Stephen are forced to grow up before their time, their friendship deepens --- and together they discover that sometimes falling apart is only steps away from falling in love.

About the author


Après avoir enseigné l'anglais pendant 10 ans, Gillian Chan a réalisé son rêve : celui d'écrire des livres. Elle a d'abord écrit des recueils d'histoires, avant de se lancer dans la rédaction de romans, lui permettant ainsi de combiner son amour de l'histoire avec l'écriture. Pour écrire Un océan nous sépare, l'auteure s'est rendue plusieurs fois à Vancouver pour s'imprégner de l'atmosphère et pour mieux raconter le cheminement de sa jeune héroïne. Gillian Chan a obtenu plusieurs récompenses pour ce livre.


After being an English teacher for ten years, Gillian Chan realized her dream of becoming a writer in 1994. Her first book, Golden Girl and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the Mr. Christie's Book Award. A companion collection, Glory Days and Other Stories, was also a Christie nominee, and made the shortlist for the 1996 Governor General's Literary Award. When she turned to writing novels, Gillian was able to combine her writing with her love of history, writing such books as The Carved Box and A Foreign Field.
During her preparations for An Ocean Apart, Gillian travelled to Vancouver several times, walking the streets that would have been familiar to Mei. Her husband read and translated Chinese newspapers for her from the period in which the story was set. She has just finished writing a new title about the War of 1812 for Dear Canada's "little brother," the I Am Canada series.


Gillian Chan's profile page


  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Winner, Hamilton & Region Arts Council Book Award, Hamilton & Region Arts Council
  • Winner, White Pine Award
  • Winner, Books for The Teen Age List, The New York Public Library
  • Winner, Nautilus Award - Young Adult Literature
  • Winner, Our Choice, Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

Reading this book, it is easy to imagine growing up with the glamour of the flight school, the everydayness of life as a 14-year-old, and the uncertainty of war. Recommended.

Library Media Connection

... [Chan] takes readers into the harried days of World War II and gives us an insightful look into the lives of the young British and Canadian fighter pilots ...Chan has drawn upon her own family history - both her father and uncle were pilots in the RAF - to create an engaging and compassionate novel that succinctly explores how war really changes young lives.

Books in Canada

An affecting novel with a strong cast of believable characters and a well-realized historical setting.

Booklist, Starred Review

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