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published: Sep 2011
ISBN:9781552442982
publisher: Red Deer Press

Wild Geese

by Caroline Pignat

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pre-confederation (to 1867)
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $12.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
published: Sep 2011
ISBN:9781552442982
publisher: Red Deer Press
Description

Wild Geese, the sequel to the Governor General’s Award-winning novel Greener Grass, follows Kit Byrne and her friend Mick O’Toole after fleeing famine-ravaged Ireland. Across the Atlantic aboard a notorious “coffin ship”, through quarantine, and into the heart of North America, the two displaced teenagers endure storms, epidemics, and discrimination. Desperate to find her family in the New World, Kit is willing to sacrifice everything, even her love for Mick, to reunite the remaining orphaned Byrne children. Jack and Annie are out there somewhere and Kit will not stop searching until she finds them and her family is together again. The original "Wild Geese" were Irish soldiers fighting outside of Ireland, but the term later came to encompass all expatriate Irish. Fighting for survival a long, long way from home. People like Kit. This is her Wild Geese story.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 100
Grade:
7 to 17

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Wild Geese

Wild Geese, the sequel to Caroline Pignat’s Governor General’s Literary Award-winning novel, Greener Grass, is historical fiction at its best. Although Pignat provides details from the first book, Kit’s immigration story is so engaging that this could have been a stand-alone novel. On the run from Irish authorities, Kit Byrne steals away with her friend Mick O’Toole on a ship to Canada and vows to be reunited with her family.

Pignat’s attention to detail attunes us to the rotting stench of sickness on the boat, allows us to feel the crisp winds of winter along the Ottawa Canal and vividly see the markets of Bytown where Kit finds her sister. By integrating real figures, such as Mother Bruyere and her Sisters of Charity, she also grounds Kit’s story within an historical framework that allows for a natural development of the plot and character growth.

Because Kit’s journey takes her to many different places, Pignat introduces a lot of new characters. However, there are so many of them, it can get a bit confusing — particularly when they disappear for a couple of chapters, and, almost too conveniently, return. Still, there are some truly memorable characters that amuse, delight and scare us — like the crafty thief Billy and cruel, vengeful Henry Lynch.

Teens will love Kit’s independent spirit. Pignat’s use of Irish dialect and phrasing along with some pretty punchy prose, gives Kit a brash stubbornness, a passionate heart and unwavering bravery to keep going and, eventually, find the home and peace she’s been looking for.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2011. Volume 34 No. 2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Wild Geese

Kit Byrne and her friend Mick O’Toole are fleeing a famine-ravaged Ireland, taking the trip across the Atlantic in a notorious “coffin ship” to reach North America and reunite the remaining Byrne children. They endure storms, epidemics and quarantines, but Kit is determined to find her family even if she has to sacrifice her love for Mick. This is the sequel to Greener Grass: The Famine Years.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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