Beginnings: Stories of Canada’s Past

Beginnings: Stories of Canada's Past


Stories of Canada’s Past

Edited by Ann Walsh


  • Autumn 2001
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-87-6 (0-921870-87-6)
  • 5-1/4″ x 7-5/8″ Trade Paperback, 228 pages
  • Young Adult Fiction, History

Ann Walsh has selected fourteen captivating stories written by accomplished authors from across Canada for this historical anthology. Each of the stories focuses on a “first-time” historical experience, such as the meeting between natives and Europeans at Fort St. James; the ship carrying filles du roi as brides for the settlers of New France; the first elections in which women in Canada were allowed to vote; the first gourmet meal cooked in a CPR rail camp for Cornelius Van Horne; a mine disaster in the Crowsnest Pass, with the subsequent introduction of safety lamps for the miners; and an account of the “Home Children” first sent to Canada during the nineteenth century, supposedly for a better life, but often to work in slave-labour conditions.

Many of the stories feature real historical people, and others introduce fictional characters to depict the historical situations of earlier times. The volume also contains an appendix with substantial accounts of the historical context of each story. The contributors are Ann Walsh, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Beverley Brenna, Constance Horne, Margaret Thompson, Anne Metikosh, Carolyn Pogue, Margaret Florczak, Jean Rae Baxter, Catherine Goodwin, Victoria Miles, Susan Lee, Laura Morgan and Cathy Beveridge. A vibrant introduction to Canada’s history through the eyes of some of its youngest participants.

“An impressive array of Canadian writers inviting us to become involved in our country’s past. I was caught every timme not wanting the episode to end. Now I want to know more! These short stories are perfect read alouds to entice students.”
— Dr. Ron Jobe, University of B.C. & Co-coordinator Vancouver Children’s Round Table


Reviews & Awards

Selected for Our Choice 2002

“These historical stories for young readers cover everything from filles du roi to home children in a smooth, non-didactic manner.”
Vancouver Sun

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and feel that it will prove an enduring addition to te genre of young adult literature.”
BC Historical News

“a welcome addition to the growing collection of short stories published in Canada”
Resource Links

“There’s not a weak effort in this compendium . . . a great book”
Hamilton Spectator

“highly recommended”
The Daily Bulletin