Brothers at war by Don Cummer

November 2, 2013
An quick paced adventure story of two boys becoming unlikely friends!

An quick paced adventure story of two boys becoming unlikely friends!

Brothers at War by Don Cummer

published: Scholastic Canada: Oct. 2013
203 p.
Brothers at war is a quick paced adventure story where the setting is in the past — Canada’s past. Looking at the title and cover the reader is given the impression that this novel is perhaps about two brothers at odds with a war. It is this colourful cover that leads a reader into the pages of a little known part of Canadian history. Tensions in the newly settled areas of Upper Canada, like Newark, are on the rise with the arrival of loyalists and patriots alike.
Only upon reading the first few chapters, is the reader made aware that this story is about two boys and an unlikely friendship that results from a dare by the elite townies and the ensuing, almost tragic consequences. These two young boys, one from a British Loyalist family and the other from a rebel American immigrant family.
Eli McCabe and Jake Gibson become blood brothers and provide support for each other as they get into one scrap or adventure after another. Even when tensions begin to mount within the community against Eli and his family, their friendship remains steadfast. Until one fateful day, when Jake steps up to save is friend that he is no longer considered a blood brother by Eli. The strain and stress between Jake and Eli become mirror images for what is happening in the community….and both boys discover that [as the publisher states]… choosing friends can also mean making enemies and that there are many kinds of loyality.

The author has cleverly intertwined a fast paced adventure within a histoircal venue that never leaves the reader bored!

A great read for Middle grade students!
Highly recommended!

Youtube Book Trailer for Brothers at War:



Ellie’s new home by Becky Citra

February 23, 2010

Ellie’s new home by Canadian author Becky Citra was my first introduction to this Orca Young Readers series and this author!  It is 1835 and Ellie and her brother Max find themselves uprooted from living a comfortable life in England to the deep wilderness that is Upper Canada.  Once they arrive in Upper Canada, their Father leaves them with strangers while he forges on ahead to look for a suitable spot to ‘settle’. Ellie’s fear of not knowing the where abouts of her father combined with uncertainty make her homesick for her life in England and her grandmother.  Through   Ellie’s vivid descriptions of  her ‘new home’ , we are introduced to a part of Canadian history that can often be over looked.

ISBN: 9781551431642
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: January/01/1999
Lexile Level: 390L
Pages: 82

Reading ability: Grade 2, 3,4

Genre: Frontier and pioneer life; Canadian History; Adventure; Family

Theme: Courage, Perserverance; Determination

Who would like this book?  Students that enjoy reading adventure stories;

Series:  “Max and Ellie”

  •  Ellie’s New Home
  •  The Freezing Moon
  •  Danger at the Landings
  •  Runaway
  •  Strawberry Moon
  • Similiar Books:   Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachla; Dear Canada : Footsteps in the snow by Carol Matas and Dear Canada: A priarie as wide as the sea by Sarah Ellis

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