jan andrews


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OUR CHOICE. CANADIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK CENTRE

SHORTLISTED: RED CEDAR BOOK AWARD


Friday, April 28, 1721

We have LAND!  We are in a channel that is open. 

Ice is to our right still but LAND IS TO OUR LEFT.*


Another in the Dear Canada journal series, Winter of Peril is a story of courage for dealing with difficult circumstances day-by-day.  The “land” my heroine, Sophie, has arrived at is Newfoundland but it is Newfoundland in the time when fishermen came to the island from England only for the summer.  For the winter those fishermen sailed away.  In 1721, Sophie comes with the fishermen but she will not be going home.  She will stand on the beach and watch the ships leave, knowing it will be at least six months before they return.  She will live in a small cold hut as different from the rich house she has grown up in as it is possible to be.  She will face despair and real hunger.  Will she survive?  Here’s another entry to give you a clue.


Tuesday, May 1, 1722

Oh, dancing, dancing May Day.

Oh, praise, praise God that

“those on land and those that have voyaged by sea”

are SAFE.*



I loved writing this book.  I found the research fascinating, even when I discovered that, in the early Eighteenth Century, England was on a different calendar from everywhere else in Europe and I had to rejig all the dates! 


Mostly I loved Sophie.  I relished the way she takes on her new life, tearing off her gown when she realizes she no longer has servants to help her, deciding she wants to meet new people, to be USEFUL even if others disapprove.  I was proud of how she began to question and to care.  


I did not expect all this to happen to her but it is part of my writing process that it did.  My characters start out as shadowy figures.  I never know how they will grow and change until I begin working with them.  I have to be very careful to listen to them and give them the freedom to discover their own lives. 


Sophie says at the end, “I am NOT the same person that I was when I started writing.  Being here has changed me VERY MUCH.  Mostly I am glad.”*  I was glad with her although, like her, I was sorry for all the hard things she had to face to get to that.


In The Toronto Star, reviewer Deidre Baker wrote, “Andrews gives us a colourful, informative and sometimes moving picture of this moment in Canada’s history.” 


I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw the word “moving” included.  I think books are meant to move us because they help us share other people’s experiences and step into other people’s lives.



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jandrews@magma.ca




*Winter of Peril  ©2005 Jan Andrews, published by Scholastic Canada

www.scholastic.ca

Cover cameo permission of The State Hermitage Museum, Russia. All rights reserved.









WINTER OF PERIL
THE NEWFOUNDLAND DIARY 
OF SOPHIE LOVERIDGE
By JAN ANDREWS

SCHOLASTIC CANADA INC.
$14.99  Ages 9-12
ISBN 9-780779-11409-2
Cover image: with permission, Scholastic Canada.  All rights reserved.