A Guide to Women in Canadian History

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Kid's World

You go Canadian girl!

girl Books to try
Check out some books about great Canadian girls and women - written especially for kids.

Picture Books

Children of the PrairieChildren of the Prairie
by Joyce Dufresne and Merna Forster. Illustrations by Jeremy Salzman.
Baico Publishing, 2004.
To order, contact author at: heroines.ca website
ISBN: 1894494-93-8
Paper, 50 pages.
Ages 5-9.
Based on a true story, Children of the Prairie is a heart-warming tale about family and the simple pleasures of growing up on the Alberta prairie. A touching recollection of childhood and the hardships of pioneer life.

When Joyce moves from the city to a prairie farm, she and her brothers and sister have a string of adventures. Will the children like living in the country? Will they be able to have a horse? What will it be like walking miles across the prairie fields to get to school every day? And will Dale ever stop getting into trouble?

Violet the PilotViolet the Pilot in Canada
by Bettina Jenkins Bathe. Illustrations by Barbara Fortin.
To order, contact the author at Violet the Pilot
ISBN: 1412032156
Paper, 20 pages.
Ages 4-8
This charming picture book for children was written by Bettina Jenkins Bathe of Calgary, who has been a commercial pilot since 1988. Violet the Pilot in Canada is the first book in a series about the adventures of the fictional Violet.

Series Books

Our Canadian Girls Our Canadian Girls Series
Penguin Group (Canada)
This is a great series of historical fiction for girls aged 8-11! The books involve Canadian girls who lived in various parts of the country at exciting times in our history, and had lots of adventures. The books are good fun and you'll learn a lot about Canadian history too.

As an added bonus, Penguin Books has created a cool website to accompany the series. The site includes information on activities related to the books: making bannock, onion-skin dye, clothespin dolls, journal covers, paintings, etc. You can even send an e-card to your friends, join the fan club or enter the monthly contest to win free books. The site also includes ideas for teachers and librarians.

The Canadians Series
Fitzhenry&Whiteside Ltd.
This biographical series for young readers includes a number of books about notable women in Canadian history.

  • Emily CarrEmily Carr
    by Rosemary Neering
    ISBN: 1550414836
    Read about the amazing Emily Carr, one of the greatest artists in Canadian history. You'll discover a rebellious young girl determined to find herself.

  • Emily MurphyEmily Murphy
    by Donna James
    ISBN: 1550414917
    Emily Murphy was a popular author who wrote the famous Janey Canuck books - and was the leader of a battle to get Canadian women recognized as "persons". She became a judge and was especially interested in protecting children. Emily Murphy also worked with many women's groups.

  • Lucy Maud MontgomeryLucy Maud Montgomery
    by Mollie Gillen
    ISBN: 1550414615
    Find out about the interesting life of the author who created the famous Anne of Green Gables. Lucy Maud Montgomery grew up in Prince Edward Island, where she was inspired to write about a red-haired heroine who lived on a beautful island.

  • Nellie McClungNellie McClung
    by Mary Lile Benham
    ISBN: 1550414779
    Read about the feisty feminist who led the battle that resulted in Canadian women being declared as persons, who were elegible to become members of the Senate. Way to go Nellie!

AN Ocean Apart Dear Canada Series
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
This fictional series for young readers includes a number of volumes that resemble diaries. Each book is presented as the diary of a young girl in Canada, in which the heroine shares her experiences during some interesting events in Canadian history. For example, one of the books is An Ocean Apart: The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-Ling. Vancouver, British Columbia, 1922. This book tells the story of a Chinese girl in Canada who hopes her father will be able to earn enough to pay the "head tax" needed for her family members to be reunited. A great series!

Other books in the series include:
  • Alone in an Untamed Land:
    The Filles du Roi Diary of Hélène St. Onge,

    Montreal, New France, 1666

  • Brothers Far From Home:
    The World War I Diary of Eliza Bates

    Uxbridge, Ontario, 1916

  • Footsteps in the Snow:
    The Red River Diary of Isobel Scott,

    Rupert's Land, 1815

  • Orphan at My Door:
    The Home Child Diary of Victoria Cope,

    Ontario, 1897

  • A Prairie as Wide as the Sea:
    The Immigrant Diary of Ivy Weatherall Milorie
    Saskatchewan, 1926

  • Ribbon of Shining Steel
    The Railway Diary of Kate Cameron

    Yale, British Columbia, 1882

  • Whispers of War:
    The 1812 Diary of Susanna Merritt
    Niagara, Upper Canada, 1812

  • With Nothing But Our Courage: The
    Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald

    Johnston, Quebec, 1783

The Quest Library
XYZ Publishing
This biographical series for young readers has a number of books about notable women in Canadian history. Suitable for ages 12 and up.

  • Agnes MacphailAgnes Macphail: Champion of the Underdog
    by Rachel Wyatt.
    ISBN: 968360157
    166 pages.
    Find out just how tough it was to become the first female Member of Parliament in Canadian history.

  • Emily CarrEmily Carr: Rebel Artist
    by Kate Braid
    ISBN: 0968360165
    192 pages
    This biography is about the life and times of the famous Canadian artist Emily Carr, who grew up in Victoria, British Columbia.

  • Emma AlbaniEmma Albani: International Star
    by Michelle Labrèche-Larouche, translation by Darcy Dunton
    ISBN: 096881669X
    179 pages.
    This book recounts the story of a Canadian from Chambly, Quebec who became a world-famous opera star.

  • Nellie McclungNellie McClung: Voice of the Voiceless
    by Margaret Macpherson
    ISBN: 1894852044
    200 pages.
    In this book you'll discover the interesting life of Nellie McClung and her achievements as an author, suffragist, and politician.

  • Pauline JohnsonPauline Johnson: First Aboriginal Voice of Canada by Betty Keller
    ISBN: 0968360122
    184 pages.
    Meet the famous Pauline Johnson, a talented writer and performer who was proud of her Mohawk heritage and tried to help others appreciate Native culture. She became a popular entertainer at a time when such a career wasn't at all acceptable for a proper young lady.

  • Phyllis MundayPhyllis Munday: Mountaineer
    by Kathryn Bridge
    ISBN: 189485201
    188 pages.
    Read about a tough mountaineer who became the first Canadian woman to climb the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

Books for Young Readers

Ann and Seamus Ann and Seamus
by Kevin Major. Illustrations by David Blackwood.
Groundwood, 2004.
ISBN: 088899561X
109 pages.
Ages 13 and up.
This book is historical non-fiction, but it was inspired by the true story of a teenage girl from Newfoundland called Ann Harvey. When a ship filled with immigrants was wrecked along the rugged coast near her home, this Canadian heroine, her brother and father managed to rescue many of the stranded passengers. The author added a fictional romance between Ann and an Irish immigrant.

Bobbie Rosenfeld Bobbie Rosenfeld: The Olympian Who Could Do Anything
by Anne Dublin.
Second Story Press, 2004.
ISBN: 1896764827
120 pages, black & white photos.
Ages 9 and up.
This is a biography of Canadian heroine Bobbie Rosenfeld, an incredible athlete who excelled in many sports and won gold and silver medals at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1950 Bobbie was voted Female Athlete of the Half-Century. She was admired for her sportsmanship as well as her athletic talent. If you're looking for an inspirational role-model, be sure to read about Bobbie!

E. Cora Hind
by Carlotta Hacker.
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1979.
ISBN: 1550418343
66 pages, with illustrations.
This is a biography of an amazing Canadian heroine known as E. Cora Hind. She was a farm girl who eventually managed to become an agricultural reporter. Cora Hind was a colourful character - a notable feminist and reformer who made a difference.

Emily Carr Book Emily Carr: At the Edge of the World
by Jo Ellen Bogart. Illustrations by Maxwell Newhouse.
Tundra Books, 2003.
ISBN: 0887766404
40 pages.
Ages 10 and up.
Read about the difficult life of a talented artist, in this lovely biography of Emily Carr.

Sophia Firecracker Introducing Sophia Firecracker
by A.A. Riley. Illustrations by Christine Smolcic.
Awordxica Press, 2011.
ISBN: 978-0-9876906-0-9
74 pages.
Ages 7-10.
A fun read about a feisty black girl who thinks she's a superhero. When author A.A. Riley realized she couldn't find any kids' books featuring a little black girl, she decided to write one herself. An entertaining book that's sure to delight young readers.

Introducing Sophia Firecracker website.
SophiaFirecracker on Facebook

Kim Campbell Book Kim Campbell: The keener who broke down barriers
by Heather Grace Stewart. Illustrations by Thomas Dannenberg.
Jackfruit Press Ltd., 2007.
ISBN-13: 978-0-9736407-0-0
ISBN-10: 0-9736407-0-7
48 pages, 8 1/2” X 11”
Glossary, Index, Web support, Full colour art throughout
Paper: $19.95
Learn about the gutsy lady who became the first female prime minister in Canadian history.
"An inspiring portrait of a remarkable woman...lively and insightful." Merna Forster, Author, 100 Canadian Heroines.

Laura Secord Laura: A Childhood Tale of Laura Secord
by Maxine Trottier. Illustrations by Karen Reczuch.
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN: 043997478X
32 pages.
Ages 6-8.
This is a fictional story of what the heroine Laura Secord might have been like as a child.

Laura Secord Laura Secord: A Story of Courage
by Janet Lunn. Illustrations by Maxwell Newhouse.
Tundra Books, 2001.
ISBN: 0887765386
32 pages.
Ages 8 and up.
Based on the true story of Canadian heroine Laura Secord, this book recounts how the courageous young mother played an important role in the War of 1812.

Portia White book Singing Towards the Future: The Story of Portia White
by Lian Goodall. Illustrations by Liz Milkau.
Napoleon Pub., 2004.
ISBN: 1894917081
72 pages.
Ages 9-12.
Meet Portia White of Nova Scotia. As a young girl she dreamed of being a singer - and despite growing up in a poor family the determined Portia sang her way to success. This is a wonderful story about a Canadian heroine.


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