Home Child

Mass Market Paperback | December 8, 2003

byBarbara Haworth-Attard

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Sadie can't understand why everyone seems to dislike Arthur. It's 1914, and Arthur, 13, has been sent over from England as a Home Child to become the hired help on her family's farm. He seems like a nice boy, but Sadie's father works him to the bone, piling on chore after chore. The children at school tease him because of his accent and his reading talent. But it's Sadie's mother who saves the most spite for Arthur, calling him "boy" and sending him to eat his meals in the corner by himself. Even though she knows her mother would be angry, Sadie forms a clandestine friendship with Arthur. But then Arthur is accused of stealing, and Sadie discovers a family secret that turns her well-ordered world upside-down. Now a near-tragic fire, carelessly started by Sadie, is forcing the entire family to look at Arthur in a whole new way.

A bestseller and CLA Notable Book of the Year in 1997, Home Child is sure to attract a new generation of readers who have enjoyed Flying Geese and Irish Chain. Highlighting a little-known period in our history, when 100,000 Home Children were sent to Canada from Britain, Home Child sensitively and movingly portrays a boy's loss, a girl's coming of age, and a family's attempt to deal with prejudice and shame. Ages 8-12.

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From the Publisher

Sadie can't understand why everyone seems to dislike Arthur. It's 1914, and Arthur, 13, has been sent over from England as a Home Child to become the hired help on her family's farm. He seems like a nice boy, but Sadie's father works him to the bone, piling on chore after chore. The children at school tease him because of his accent an...

Barbara Haworth-Attard is the acclaimed author of eight other children's books, including her most recent, Theories of Relativity, and Flying Geese, which was nominated for the Silver Birch Award and the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award. Barbara's other books include Love-Lies-Bleeding, Dark of the Moon and TruthSinger. She lives w...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 7 × 4.75 × 0.36 inPublished:December 8, 2003Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0006393128

ISBN - 13:9780006393122

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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Customer Reviews of Home Child

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Home Child: Historical Fiction for Children Nearly four million Canadians (about 12 percent of our country’s population) can trace their ancestry back to a child who was shipped to Canada from Britain sometime between 1869 and 1948. Called Home children, most of them were between seven and thirteen years old and were removed from the streets, orphanages and workhouses of England’s industrial cities and placed on Canadian farms where they worked as indentured farm-hands. Girls, who accounted for about a third of the 100,000 children sent here, were usually placed in private homes where they worked as indentured servants. What started as a well-meaning attempt to improve the lives of destitute British children became tales of exploitation, lost childhoods, broken promises and heart-breaking loneliness for a majority of Home children. Sometimes forced to live in conditions no better than what they had left behind in England, many were physically, emotionally, psychologically and sexually abused. Feeling rejected first by Britain and then unwelcomed by Canada, nearly all of them grew up ashamed of their past. They kept their Home child identity a secret, even from their spouses, children and grandchildren. This little known part of Canadian history has been revisited lately. After years of battling governments on both sides of the Atlantic, the few surviving Home children, and/or their descendants, have, by parliamentary decree, won the right to view the documents pertaining to their lives in Britain and to the lives of their siblings who were sent hither and yon upon arriving in Canada. In her children’s novel entitled Home Child, Canadian author Barbara Haworth-Attard tells the story of a fictitious Home child and his life with a typical Ontario farming family in the fall of 1914. Selected as a “Choice Book” by the Children’s Book Centre and short-listed for the Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction Award, Red Cedar Selection, Silver Birch Selection, and CNIB Tiny Torgi Award, Home Child is a both a heart-breaking and heart-warming tale of survival and hope. Recommended for children ages 8-11, it is an excellent novel to use to explore the literary elements of character and universal themes of conflict, stereotyping and friendship. It is also a way of learning about the history of the Home children and how horribly many of them were treated.
Date published: 2003-11-26