Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 13 to 18
In 1914, Canada was a very British society with anti-Asian attitudes. Although Great Britain had declared that all people from India were officially British citizens and could live anywhere in the British Commonwealth, Canada refused to accept them. This racist policy was challenged by Gurdit Singh, a Sikh businessman, who chartered a ship, the Komagata Maru, and sailed to Vancouver with over 300 fellow Indians wishing to immigrate to Canada. They were turned back, tragically.
Over the years, the Canadian government gradually changed its immigration policies, first allowing entry to wives and children of Indian immigrants and later to many more immigrants from India. The Indo-Canadian community has grown throughout Canada, especially in British Columbia. Many in the community continue to celebrate their Indian heritage which enriches Canadian culture.
About the author
PAMELA HICKMAN is the author of over forty non-fiction books for children, including winners of the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, the Best Book Award from the Society of School Librarians International and the Canadian Authors Association Lilla Sterling Memorial Award. She co-authored the first book in this series, Righting Canada's Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Internment in the Second World War. She lives in Canning, Nova Scotia.
- Winner, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens
"An engaging read for tweens and teens, presenting an honest picture of Canadian history and the struggles of the Indo-Canadian community."
CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens 2014
The Komagata Maru does an excellent job of telling a regrettable story of injustice and government-legislated controls of immigration . . . this book tells much of the story through presentation of a truly impressive collection of images, visual material, and video clips: the colour and black and white photos and the facsimiles of personal and government documents are richly captioned and hugely informative. A most useful work, both as a source of information on the history of Indian immigration to Canada and of systemic discrimination, enacted by the government of Canada, based purely on ethnic intolerance. Highly Recommended.
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"A wonderful series [Righting Canada's Wrongs] of beautiful books."