A Sea of Sorrows

A Sea of Sorrows

The Typhus Epidemic Diary of Johanna Leary

Book - 2012
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In the midst of the Irish famine, Johanna flees one disaster - only to land in another.

After a massive potato famine strikes Ireland, thirteen-year-old Johanna Leary flees to Canada with her family.

But typhus and other illnesses plague the "coffin ships," so named for the staggering number of immigrants who died enroute. One by one Johanna loses the members of her family - first her baby brother on the journey over, then her mother in the Grosse Isle fever sheds where sick passengers are quarantined when they reach the port of Québec, and her father soon after. Johanna has only her brother Michael left when she sets foot on Canadian soil.

When her brother is mistakenly told that she too has died, he sets off to find their uncle "somewhere in Canada," leaving Johanna to face a new life in a strange land... totally alone.

A Sea of Sorrows captures a dreadful time in history for those desperate, impoverished Irish families who hoped to make Canada their home. Johanna's incredible journey of survival is told with insight and sensitivity by master storyteller Norah McClintock.

ISBN: 9781443107105
Characteristics: 169 pages :,illustrations, map ;,20 cm.

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branch_reviews Dec 03, 2012

I love the Dear Canada books because they bring Canada’s past alive to young readers. These diaries are by well-established authors writing powerful stories with strong personal resonance. This particular story is set during the potato famine in Ireland and follows thirteen year old Johanna and her family as they flee Ireland for Canada on one of t¬¬¬¬he many coffin ships that leave Ireland. They are beset by all manner of illnesses, including typhus. Many passengers died before ever reaching Canada. After reaching the fever sheds of Grosse Isle in Quebec, the family is torn apart by one difficulty after another. I gave this book to my granddaughter to read. She is thirteen and she loved it. She asked me for more in the series. She said I can learn all my history from these books. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by CN

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branch_reviews Dec 03, 2012

branch_reviews thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 13

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