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DONOVAN, Lois

Winds of L'Acadie

Ronsdale Press, 2007. 214p. Gr. 6 up. 978-1-55380-047-7

As this book begins Sarah White has just arrived in Nova Scotia to spend the summer with her grandparents in Wolfville. The last time she visited her grandparents was fourteen years ago when she was two and there had been "a huge fight which her mother refused to talk about. After that they never went back." Sarah is not looking forward to what she expects to be a very dull summer. Her expectations are not heightened any when she meets Luke, the nephew of her grandparents friend--the first thing he does is spill eggs all over her at his aunt's farm market and then he and Sarah get caught in a windstorm in his sailboat off Cape Split in the Bay of Fundy. Nevertheless Luke and Sarah do become friends. However, Sarah keeps seeing a young Acadian girl and eventually she is transported back in time to the town of Grand Pre during the days leading up to the expulsion of the Acadian people by the British. She meets a young Acadian girl who takes her to her home where she is made welcome and lives as part of the family for a time, taking part in the daily work and experiencing the warmth of a closely-knit family. Back in her own time, Sarah attempts to learn as much as she can about the Acadian people and when she and Luke return to 1755 she tries to find a way to help her friends escape from the British soldiers and remain in their homeland.

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There have been a number of books focussing on the expulsion of the Acadian people from the Grand Pre area written for young readers in the past few years and this title is another to add to the collection. In her first novel, Lois Donovan presents a well-researched, well-written time travel which gives us a realistic glimpse into they way of life of the Acadian people and the difficult time the people experienced in the days leading up to the expulsion when families experienced the loss of their land, most of their belongings and many families were separated never again to be reunited. Having visited the area around the time I was reading this title made it all the more real for me. As I visited the Grand Pre National Historic Park, the dykes along the Minas Basin, viewed the migration poster which is mentioned in the book and walked along the main street in Digby and saw the name "Outhouse" (the surname of Sarah's grandparents' friends) on a business establishment I felt as if I was transported back in time.

I would highly recommend this book as an addition to school and public libraries. It will be of interest to young adult readers who like historical fiction or time travel and will also be a great supplement to social studies classes which study the Acadian element in Canadian history.

Thematic Links: Acadians--Canada; Acadians--History; Nova Scotia--History; Canada--History

Pennell, Victoria. "Winds of L'Acadie.(Fiction: Grades 7-12)(Young adult review)(Book review)." Resource Links. 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2011 from accessmylibrary: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-32474012_ITM

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