A Foreign Field

Overview

Life has been tough for 14-year-old Ellen Logan. With her country embroiled in the Second World War, she's forced to shoulder many family responsibilities. Life's even tougher for Stephen Dearborn, a young British pilot in training at the local airfield. As Ellen and Stephen are forced to grow up before their time, their friendship deepens -- and together they discover that sometimes falling apart is only steps away from falling in love.
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Overview

Life has been tough for 14-year-old Ellen Logan. With her country embroiled in the Second World War, she's forced to shoulder many family responsibilities. Life's even tougher for Stephen Dearborn, a young British pilot in training at the local airfield. As Ellen and Stephen are forced to grow up before their time, their friendship deepens -- and together they discover that sometimes falling apart is only steps away from falling in love.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Media Connection
Reading this book, it is easy to imagine growing up with the glamour of the flight school, the everydayness of life as a 14-year-old, and the uncertainty of war. Recommended.
VOYA
Inspired by her father's lifelong career in the Royal Air Force (RAF), Chan combines narrative, nightmares, and letters to craft an absorbing, charming love story between a fourteen-year-old Canadian girl and a sixteen-year-old English boy training to be an RAF pilot. Stephen Dearborn joins the service for glamour, but in his journey from enlistment to his final, fatal mission, he discovers war's horrors and his own heroism. Ellen, the girl who grows to love him, also faces grim truths as she helps Stephen fight his fears and bear his grief over a fellow pilot killed in training. She also sees her own brother captured, her friend disfigured, and her girlfriend, also dating a flier, pregnant and alone. Less sentimental than other wartime treatments, this book provides masculine and feminine wartime voices that also address women's rights. Stephen wills his savings to Ellen so that she can become a teacher, a dream she fulfills, although her father rejects the profession as ridiculous for girls. When Ellen tells their story and shows Stephen's RAF ring to her grandson, she communicates that young people in terrible times make purposeful and responsible true-love decisions that change lives. The novel will appeal to girls more than boys, but it includes much about trust and heroism for both. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Kids Can Press, 192p,
— Lucy Schall
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Ellen Logan is growing up during World War II near a Canadian air base. Both of her parents are caught up with their own concerns, so it falls to the 14-year-old to care for her mischievous little brother, Colin. While smoothing over one of his many scrapes, Ellen meets Stephen, a young British pilot who reminds her of her older brothers away in the service. Ellen's chapters alternate with Stephen's letters home as a gentle love story begins. All of the characters are appropriately fleshed out, and many homey details, such as the teen overcooking the potatoes, add the right realistic touch. The realities of war, however, are not glossed over, and Stephen's recurring nightmares might be troubling for some readers. Overall, this is a wonderful story in which the characters seem real, and readers will laugh and cry along with them.-Paula J. LaRue, Van Wert City Schools, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
An affecting novel with a strong cast of believable characters and a well-realized historical setting.

... [Chan takes readers into the harried days of World War II and gives us an insightful look into the lives of the young British and Canadian fighter pilots ...
Chan has drawn upon her own family history - both her father and uncle were pilots in the RAF - to create an engaging and compassionate novel that succinctly explores how war really changes young lives.

Booklist Starred Review
An affecting novel with a strong cast of believable characters and a well-realized historical setting.
Books in Canada
... [Chan takes readers into the harried days of World War II and gives us an insightful look into the lives of the young British and Canadian fighter pilots ...
Chan has drawn upon her own family history - both her father and uncle were pilots in the RAF - to create an engaging and compassionate novel that succinctly explores how war really changes young lives.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553373506
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gillian Chan is the author of Glory Days, Golden Girl and The Carved Box. She lives in Dundas, Ontario.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2009

    A Foreign Field Central

    The novel A Foreign Field is a simple book that most of today's youth cannot relate to. Although the plot is rather uncomplicated but the story has a deep meaning. A book that is an easy read will change the average person's outlook on war.
    A young girl is in close contact with a soldier and their relationship gradually grows stronger. The main character, Ellen, must overcome obstacles with her own life such as cooking, cleaning, and caring after her troubled younger brother. Her mom is always at work and juggling school and helping with the house poses problems for the young girl. The she meets a soldier, Stephen, and he is able to keep her company. Constantly running into problems, Ellen looks to Stephen for help. His big heart and intelligent remarks make for a thrilling story. Then when Stephen is sent out to the battle grounds all Ellen has to look forward to are his letter. Although the story is extremely easy to read it sends an inspirational message to all people.
    The author Gillian Chan is known for her short but delightful stories. A Foreign Field is lightly based on her life as a child. If you enjoyed one of Chan's other novels such as The Carved Box or Golden Girl and Other Stories, then you are sure to enjoy A Foreign Field.
    For the reader that enjoys scandal and difficult situations then this story is for you. Overall A Foreign Field is a book that is meant for twelve year olds. If you are tired of the same love story, do not read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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