Synopses & Reviews
No matter what the world throws at her, Gwen Peters rises to the challenge. Feisty, curious, with a flare for the dramatic, she dreams of a life on the stage like her idol E. Pauline Johnson, a Mohawk writer, poet and performer who dazzled Gwen during a stunning performance in a London theatre. When Gwen is orphaned at the age of eleven, she seizes the opportunity to become a Home Child and is trained to work as a maid for placement with a family in Canada. So begins her long journey away from her friends in the turn-of-the-century streets of London, England to service in a wealthy household in Toronto.
But when trouble comes her way in Toronto, Gwen takes matters into her own hands and escapes into the night. Angry and alone, she undertakes a long dangerous trek following the train tracks back to the only safe haven she knows: Cedarbrae, the Home in Peterborough. Her many adventures include an encounter with a bear and flight from a raging forest fire. Finally, Gwen's courage brings her to a welcoming family in Brantford and new friends from the Six Nations Reserve near Pauline Johnsons childhood home.
Carolyn Pogue draws imaginatively on the story of her own grandmother's experiences as a Barnardo Home Child to bring a little-known piece of Canadian history to light in this exuberant story of bravery and resourcefulness. With the young, vibrant Gwen, Pogue gives readers of all ages a character to cheer on with every step of a journey that comes alive in a manner both wonderfully strange and familiar.
In 1896 a young Home Girl is put aboard a ship bound for Canada, her head full of adventure, poetry and lively curiousity.