Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
Nate and Walt MacGregor are cousins who have never met, living on opposite sides of a deeply divided continent. Nate, the privileged son of a plantation owner in the American South, and Walt, an abolitionist son of a pioneer farmer in Canada West, are both profoundly affected by the story of a runaway slave named Sunday. While Nate prepares to fight for his Southern homeland, Walt fears that the seizure of a Confederate ship with British envoys on board will pull Britain into the war. When the cousins at last cross paths during the Battle of Shiloh, they learn that what unites them is more powerful than what divides them.
About the author
John Wilson was born in 1951 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He did his early growing up on the Island of Skye and in Paisley, near Glasgow. From 1969 to 1974, he attended the University of St. Andrews where he took an Honours B.Sc.. in Geology and never played golf once. He took a position with the Geological Survey of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). In his two years there, he mapped rocks, dodged land mines and watched the country sink ever deeper into civil war. Shortly before he was due to be called into the army, John retreated back to Britain on his way to the safety of Canada. He settled on Calgary where geology was booming and the only danger was freezing to death in January. In 1979, he moved to Edmonton to take up a post with the Alberta Geological Survey. In 1988 he sold a feature article to the Globe and Mail. This fueled a smouldering mid-life crisis and he took up freelance writing full-time. With some success, John mined the experiences of his travels for articles, journalism and photo essays. He even began to express himself poetically and, with a young family, began writing children's stories. He moved to Nanaimo and then Lantzville on Vancouver Island. John has been widely published by a number of Canadian presses, with his acolades including a shortlisting for the Governor General’s Award.