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I Want to Join Your Club: Letters from Rural Children, 1900-1920

Overview

“I am a girl, 13 years old, and a proper broncho buster. I can cook and do housework, but I just love to ride.”

In letters written to the children’s pages of newspapers, we hear the clear and authentic voices of real children who lived in rural Canada and Newfoundland between 1900 and 1920. Children tell us about their families, their schools, jobs and communities and the suffering caused by the terrible costs of World War I.

We read of shared common experiences of isolation, ...

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Overview

“I am a girl, 13 years old, and a proper broncho buster. I can cook and do housework, but I just love to ride.”

In letters written to the children’s pages of newspapers, we hear the clear and authentic voices of real children who lived in rural Canada and Newfoundland between 1900 and 1920. Children tell us about their families, their schools, jobs and communities and the suffering caused by the terrible costs of World War I.

We read of shared common experiences of isolation, hard work, few amenities, limited educational opportunities, restricted social life and heavy responsibilities, but also of satisfaction over skills mastered and work performed. Though often hard, children’s lives reflected a hopeful and expanding future, and their letters recount their skills and determination as well as family lore and community histories.

Children both make and participate in history, but until recently their role has been largely ignored. In “I Want to Join Your Club,” Lewis provides direct evidence that children’s lives, like adults’, have both continuity and change and form part of the warp and woof of the social fabric.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889202603
  • Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/1996
  • Series: Life Writing Series
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Norah L. Lewis was a member of Canadian Childhood History Project (UBC). She taught in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia and in the Faculties of English at Jiaotong University, Shanghai, and at Zhongshan University, Canton.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
"We Were Nine Days Coming Out": By Ship, by Train, by Wagon 15
"I Have Two Sisters and a Brother": Family and Community Life 35
"We Have No School Here": Education and Schooling 57
"I Have a Pony": Children and Their Pets 79
"I Want to Tell You of the Fun We Had Today": Games, Hobbies, Clubs, and Community Events 101
"I Have Been Trapping This Year": Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing 127
"My Father Is Both Fisherman and Farmer": Occupations and Vocations 145
"I Shall Be a Farmer": Life and Work on the Farm and Ranch 167
"A Story That Is a Little Tragic": Drama, Trauma, and Childhood Adventures 185
"My Father Has Enlisted": Children and the First World War 213
"I Worked in a Pulp-Mill": Part of the Work Force 241
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