Town Is By the Sea

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Book Information

Groundwood Books April 2017
  • Character-Building Curriculum
  • Social Studies Curriculum

What is your heritage?  Do you know what your great grandfather did to make a living?  Your great grandmother?  Your grandparents?

Courage.  Honor.  Respect.

This profoundly touching story begins as the light of day reaches down to touch father as he is donning his hat, waving to the neighbor, and moving on to join the line of miners heading down in to the coal mines under the sea off the coast of Nova Scotia.  Imagine for a moment how dark and cold and deep that mine must be.

For his son, the day begins with the barking of a dog, the calling of the seagulls and the sound of neighbors calling, "Good morning."  This young boy's world spreads out before him in the sunshine, on the playground, swinging high and higher still to look out over the sea beyond.  These are the things of the world above ground.

All the pieces of the day fit together as always with the bologna sandwich, the trip to the store and even the visit to his grandfather's grave.

Generations of his family have gone down into the mines under the sea and one day this boy, too, will take his place there, following the long line of miners that extends back, back, back, passed along father to son.

The sea is sparkling today.  Grandfather is enjoying his eternal view of the white caps.  A tomorrow will come when this boy takes his place in the cycles of both his  community and the generations of his family.  There is a solemnity to his awareness that for now he can play and enjoy the light and one day it will be his responsibility to carry on the family work in the mines.

This is a gorgeous, touching story of the gifts we receive from our forefathers and mothers.  They have made choices and served in dark and difficult places to give us the life we have today.  This story also celebrates and honors the dangers faced by the miners each day that they descend into the Earth in search of her treasure on behalf of us all.

Wonderful curriculum connections for heritage, the true meaning of history, mining and the importance of the family.

978-1554988716  Ages 5-9  52 pages

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,

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