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Children's Fiction General

On a Canadian Day

Nine Story Voyages through History

by (author) Rona Arato

illustrated by Peter Ferguson

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Oct 2009
General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    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: 9 to 13
  • Grade: 4 to 7


What better way for a young reader to truly understand another time than to get an intimate look at the daily life of another child? In On a Canadian Day, part of the On a Day Story Voyages series, Rona Arato introduces nine engaging fictional characters, and through their stories situates young readers perfectly in pivotal moments in Canadian history. Each chapter opens with a fictionalized account of a morning, afternoon, and evening in a child’s day in a different time period. These stories open up a window onto places and times vastly different in so many ways from a modern child’s world — yet with many familiar emotions, too. The book begins with the story of an Aboriginal boy on the Great Plains in 1680 as he prepares for his first buffalo hunt. From there, readers will learn about a pioneer girl’s day sugaring off and then read a boy's story about fleeing to Canada via the Underground Railroad, and more. Every riveting story is woven throughout with myriad, rich details of daily life — eating, dressing, transportation, living arrangements, and, of course, the expectations and experiences of childhood in different times. Following each story is a photo essay that explores the era through archival images from the period. Through these stories from across time and across the land, a complex and fascinating portrait of a nation emerges.

About the authors

Rona Arato is a children’s author with a strong interest in human rights. As a writer and editor for over twenty years, she has written on a wide variety of subjects including education, business, travel, fashion and Internet technology. Her work has appeared in mag-azines and newspapers in Canada, the United States, and England. Rona is the author of Fossils, Clues to Ancient Life and World of Water (Crabtree, 2004) and Ice Cream Town (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2007). Her new books include Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson for Napoleon (Fall 2008), Making a Difference for Maple Tree Press (Fall 2008), and Design It! for Tundra Books (Spring 2009). Rona began writing in the mid 1970s while raising her three children. She has also worked as a public relations consultant for profit and non-profit. She has taught adult Creative Writing for the Toronto District Board and conducted business writing workshops for profit and non-profit organizations in the Toronto area. She has written educational materials for organizations including Mosdos Press in Cleveland, Girl Guides of Canada, and B’nai Brith Canada. From 1994-1998, Rona had the privilege of serving as an interviewer for Survivors of the Shoa, a Steven Spielberg project that recorded the histories of Holocaust survivors. It was this experience that fostered her interest in and desire to write about human rights. Rona discovered Josiah Henson’s story while researching a project on Canadian heroes. She was immediately taken with his strength and courage in the face of seemingly insur-mountable obstacles. His dedication to human rights and freedom spoke to her heart and she hopes that his story will affect others, especially youth, in the same way it has affected her.

Rona Arato's profile page

PETER FERGUSON has been illustrating books for nine years. His art appears on the covers of many children’s books including The Sisters Grimm series. Originally from Montreal, he lives with his wife in Tokyo, Japan.

Peter Ferguson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The information about each time period will appeal to young readers as the stories give the sense of a real child living a much different life than that of most modern children. Recommended.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

This anthology of historical short stories would make excellent read-aloud material for Social Studies lessons or an interesting book to put into the hands of young history buffs...The author skillfully weaves a wealth of historical information into each story, painting a detailed picture of daily life and the social context of the time.

Canadian Teacher

On a Canadian Day is a wonderful assortment of pre-adolescent's life experiences that are vividly described and illustrated in this authentically framed and researched collection.

Midwest Book Review

The diversity and time span these stories cover paints an interesting portrait of Canadian history.

Resource Links

Other titles by Rona Arato

Other titles by Peter Ferguson