Trapper Boy by Hugh R. MacDonaldTrapper Boy by Hugh R. MacDonald

Trapper Boy

byHugh R. MacDonald

Paperback | October 5, 2012

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Set in a 1920s coal-mining town, Trapper Boy is the story of 13-year-old JW Donaldson, a good student with a bright future. As school ended for the year in 1926, JW was looking forward to summer. Sure, he would have chores – feeding the horse and milking the goat, tending the garden, that kind of thing – but he would also have lots of time for fishing, building his cabin and reading. Lots of reading.But there is something worrying his parents. His father works in the mine, and there is a lot of talk around town about the mines. JW doesn’t know the details – Adults had a lot to worry about, and he was in no hurry to become one.Slowly, JW’s parents reveal the truth: his father’s hours at the mine have been reduced and they face difficult decisions to try to make ends meet. One such decision will have a previously unimagined impact on the young man’s life.
Title:Trapper BoyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.5 inPublished:October 5, 2012Publisher:Cape Breton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1897009739

ISBN - 13:9781897009734

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Refreshing What a great story, I couldn't put it down. So refreshing to read a story of respect, hard work, dreams and a happy ending. JW was a gentle soul and accepted life's hardships. Unless you grew up in the 30 to 50's era and in Cape Breton, people today could not appreciate what many of our parents and us sacrificed. Great novel.
Date published: 2015-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great historical fiction for youth A great read for youth, Trapper Boy tells a story that was all too familiar to Cape Breton children less than a century ago. MacDonald's story focuses on a passionate student who loves reading but is forced to take a job in the coal mines to support his family. As he struggles to balance work, school, and sleep, the reader gains appreciation for privileges that we now take for granted. Beautifully written and incredibly moving, I enjoyed every page of this book, especially some of the more emotive scenes which were flawlessly crafted by the author. Reading this book with children is a great way to start conversations about what life was like for youth in the past and the importance of education. I recommend it to all parents and educators.
Date published: 2015-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommended for kids! Trapper Boy tells the story of J.W., a kid in the 20's who only wants to study hard, get a good education and see the world. Instead, economic hardships make it necessary for him to go to work as a trapper boy in the mines of Cape Breton. The book illustrates only-too-well the nightmarish scenario of the main character having to deal with being alone underground in the dark with only rats for company. In this book, written for kids, author Hugh MacDonald brings to life a time that children today can't imagine. We think of child labour as something that happens elsewhere, but it wasn't so long ago that it was routine everywhere. Recommended!
Date published: 2013-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Share it with your children Trapper Boy is a beautifully crafted story that takes place in a tiny town in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. The setting could be any place in the world that relies principally upon the extraction industries for jobs (both natural gas/oil and coal). As I read the book my mind took me back to holding a prayer vigil watching the men from the 2010 Copiapó mining accident await rescue. Those men started in the mines at young ages too, following the tradition that mining families embrace. Miners share a culture that unites them regardless of where they live – a true brotherhood. In Trapper Boy I read about the agonizing choice the parents had to make in sending their son to the darkness of the mines and knew I wanted to purchase more copies to give to my grandchildren who take education and their quality of life for granted. My 14 year old grandson actually put away his electronic gadgets and read the book. He is using this novel in his English class. This book will not bore the young readers as it’s not filled with pages of dry historical information. I truly enjoyed the well placed sketches that help bring to life the hardships of underground life for the boys and men that toiled there. It has a wonderful plot that drew me and my grandson in and gave us common ground to share. Don’t just purchase the book; read it and talk about it to your children, grandchildren and have them imagine what life once was for children their age.
Date published: 2012-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A poignant story for ANY reader!! This book hits a personal note, living here, in Cape Breton, growing up in New Waterford, as part of "industrial" Cape Breton, hearing the good, and the bad, of mining history. Young boys that sat in silence, darkness and most likely, fear to help support their families is, by today's standards, a terrifying concept but, in its day, just part of normal Cape Breton living. It's touching, well-written and beautifully illustrated. The cover art is spectacular as well - wish the image was available here. Hugh R. MacDonald's telling of a boy who, all too quickly, has to take on the responsibility of a man, should summon many a nostalgic memory for anyone with a connection to mining history. But wait!!! There is much in this book for those who haven't lived through the beginning, hay-day nor the demise of coal mining as an industry. Well worth taking the journey!
Date published: 2012-10-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written Children's Historical Fiction This is an incredibly moving book. Set in the town of Sydney Mines(NS, Canada) when the coal mines were open, it details the life of the main character JW, who wants nothing more than to do well in school, help out around the house, and keep being friends with his sweetheart Beth. This book is a simply and beautifully written piece of historical fiction for older children and teens (I'd recommend it for readers aged 10-16). You'll learn a little bit about what it was like growing up in Sydney Mines, and, during the more moving scenes (such as an encounter between JW and an older miner, who shares his dreams and fears with him), experience sadness and hope right along with the main character.
Date published: 2012-10-12