Finished: Oct. 24, 2007
Reason for Reading: this book is on the shortlist for the Governor General's Children's Lit Award and it qualifies for the Canadian Book Challenge
First Published: 2007
Genre: Historical Fiction, Children
It was Sunday after church and all my chores were done.
Comments: This book tells a tale of pioneer life in Ontario during the year 1859. But these are not your ordinary pioneers. Buxton is a Black Settlement, inhabited mostly by escaped slaves from the Southern United States. This is a warm, touching and humorous look at the day-to-day life of these people as they adjust and learn to lead a life of freedom. The escapades of the main character, Elijah, reminded me of the "Great Brain" books and I laughed out loud many times. But alongside this new life of freedom we also witness the horrors of slavery and the mind boggles at the reality of it. I cried with tears of joy when newly escaped slaves arrived to the settlement. I was stupefied at the inhumanity as free-born Elijah travels to Michigan and witnesses slaves in chains. I felt proud of my country when I learned that Canada was once called the 'land of milk and honey' and 'the land of the free'. This is an emotional book. I highly recommend this book to both Canadians and Americans as a part of our combined history.
I hadn't heard of Buxton before, but have since found that it isn't all that far from where I live. We could certainly go there for a day trip and I definitely plan on making the trip next summer.