Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 7 to 10
- Grade: 2 to 5
In early twentieth-century Cape Breton, coal mines stretched far out under the ocean. The workers, mostly men, but also children and ponies, spent all day in the dark, damp mines. Each day the workers descended into the mines, they risked never seeing sunlight or their families again. They were miserable and fearful, working in dangerous conditions where fatal accidents were common.
About the author
Joanne Schwartz was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her first picture book, Our Corner Grocery Store, illustrated by Laura Beingessner, was nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Her other books include City Alphabet and City Numbers, with photos by Matt Beam, and two Inuit folktales with Cape Dorset elder Qaunaq Mikkigak — The Legend of the Fog, illustrated by Danny Christopher, and Grandmother Ptarmigan, illustrated by Qin Leng. Joanne has been a children’s librarian for more than twenty-five years. She lives in Toronto.