Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
The War of 1812 comes to life through the eyes of a young Canadian boy.
It's 1812. War has begun, and thirteen-year-old Alexander (Sandy) MacKay is jealous when his older brother Angus goes off with their father to fight the Americans attacking the Niagara region. Too young to know the darker side of battle, he resents being left to shoulder the work on his family's farm.
Itching to get in on the action, he sneaks away from home and heads to Lundy's Lane to join up with the local militia. But battle is imminent, and now there's not much his father can do except try to shield him from the worst of the fighting.
Sandy's idealized notions of what battle will be like are shattered when the man standing before him is killed by a musket ball and Sandy's own brother is severely wounded. At the battle of Lundy's Lane, the united Canadian/British forces turn the tide against the American troops, but Sandy comes to know how chilling war can be.
Just in time for the bicentennial of the War of 1812, A Call to Battle is a sobering look at the realities of war. Author Gillian Chan skillfully depicts the transformation of an impetuous young boy, full of boyish enthusiasm, into a more realistic young man who emerges on the other side of war.
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.
- Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
Praise for I Am Canada: A Call to Battle:"[A]n authentic perspective on the War of 1812, reminding readers that the important part isn't the battle, but how people continue to cope after it's over. Fans of historical fiction, as well as action-loving boys, will find much to like in this book." —Quill & Quire
"A Call to Battle is a coming-of-age story that provides a sobering look at the grim realities of war . . . a very good and interesting book." —CM Magazine
Praise for the I Am Canada series:
"Make[s] history come alive through an expert mix of fact and fiction." —Quill & Quire
"The chief characters are eminently likeable and quietly heroic, and their tales utterly engrossing." —The Globe and Mail
"The writing is immaculate." —The National Post
Other titles by Gillian Chan
I Am Canada: Defend or Die
The Siege of Hong Kong, Jack Finnigan, Hong Kong, 1941
Cher Journal : Le temps des réjouissances
Dix récits de Noël
Dear Canada: A Season for Miracles
Twelve Tales of Christmas
Dear Canada: An Ocean Apart
The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-Ling, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1922
Cher Journal : Un océan nous sépare
Chin Mei-ling, fille d'immigrants chinois, Vancouver, Colombie-Britannique, 1922