Chaos in Halifax

Chaos in Halifax by Cathy Beveridge

Chaos in Halifax

by Cathy Beveridge


  • Autumn 2004
  • ISBN 978-1-55380-019-4 (1-55380-019-2)
  • 5-1/4″ x 7-5/8″ Trade Paperback, 206 pages
  • Young Reader Novel – Ages 9 to 12

  • A separate Teacher’s Guide is available from Ronsdale Press for $5.95.

“I wish I wasn’t a twin.” Twelve-year-old Jolene is determined to find independence from her brother, Michael, during a family trip to research the Halifax explosion of 1917 for her father’s Museum of Disasters. When her grandfather finds a time crease into the past, Jolene discovers a new friend and the importance of family and loyalty in a world torn apart by World War I. When Michael joins them, however, the past suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Michael inadvertently threatens Jolene’s friendship with a grieving family, and his careless comments spark speculation that they are spies. Together, the twins try to reconcile the honour and horrors of the Great War as they struggle with the knowledge that their new friends are living in the area soon to be devastated by the explosion. Jolene knows they can’t change history, but Michael is determined to try and leads them into the midst of destruction.

In the harbour, the Mont Blanc, laden with explosives, collides with the Imo and bursts into flames. Minutes later, two thousand are dead, and nine thousand more are injured or trapped in shattered burning buildings. The day that changed Halifax forever also changes Jolene and her twin brother.

“Beveridge uses the fascinating concept of time creases to allow her modern-day characters to grapple with the vibrant immediacy of the 1917 Halifax Explosion. A gripping exploration of this major Canadian disaster.”
— Sandy Frances Duncan

Cathy Beveridge’s Canadian Disaster Series:

Reviews & Awards

Shortlisted for the Golden Eagle Award

“the book is likely to appeal strongly to readers from Alberta as well as from Nova Scotia”
Canadian Children’s Literature

“Girls and boys from ages ten and up will take pleasure in this captivating novel”
KIdsWWwrite – Sarah’s Stars