Canada and the First World War


03 Book List

Children – Ages 4 to 8: Fiction Picture Books

A Brave Soldier

Nicolas Debon
Toronto, ON: Groundwood, 2002

Description: This book tells the story of a young soldier named Frank and his journey from Canada to the trenches in northern France. Frank enlists in 1914 only because he does not want to be seen as a coward. He suffers a serious injury in the trenches, but returns to the front and continues to fight until the end of the war.

Available in French under the title Un brave soldat

Silver Threads

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2004

Description: A young couple, Anna and Ivan, immigrate to Canada from the Ukraine shortly before the First World War. When the war starts, Ivan tries to enlist in the army to fight for his new country, but instead is interned as an ‘enemy alien’. Anna, now alone, works hard to survive on their land while waiting for Ivan’s return. She never gives up hope, and takes care of the spider that lives in their cottage, which she believes is a good omen.

The book includes a historical note at the back. It explains the Canadian government’s initial encouragement of Ukrainian immigration, and its later internment of these ‘enemy aliens’ during the First World War.