Bear on the Homefront

Bear on the Homefront

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Overview

During World War II, nurse Aileen Rogers and her stuffed bear, Teddy, greet English "guest children" sent overseas for safety. Teddy befriends homesick, young William and his sister Grace, sharing the experience of the cross-country train ride and five years on a host family's farm. Based on real events.

During World War II, 10,000 children from British cities were sent to live with host families in Canada, the United States, and other nations away from the war zone. Bear on the Homefront tells the story of two guest children, Grace and William Chambers, who arrive in Halifax and meet Aileen Rogers, a nurse serving on the homefront. With her is Teddy, the stuffed bear whose real-life trip to the front lines of World War I and back was chronicled in A Bear in War.

Using archival images and Aileen Rogers’ wartime diary, Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat piece together William and Grace’s journey by train to their host family’s Winnipeg farm. Readers experience the story through Teddy’s eyes as Aileen, seeing William’s anxiety, lets her stuffed friend stay with the little boy throughout the train ride and, ultimately, throughout the war.

Brian Deines’ soulful oil paintings capture the spirit of the war years on the homefront. His expressive art communicates both the loneliness of children separated from their families and the joyful conclusion when Grace, William, and Teddy all return to their homes again.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781927485132
Publisher: Pajama Press
Publication date: 10/01/2014
Pages: 32
Product dimensions: 9.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range: 5 - 10 Years

About the Author

Stephanie Innes is the great-granddaughter of Lawrence Browning Rogers. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she is the medical reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, as well as an adjunct instructor of journalism at the University of Arizona.

Writer and editor Harry Endrulat is the coauthor of A Bear in War, which was an honour book for both the OLA Silver Birch Express Award and the Children’s Literature Round­tables of Canada Information Book Award, as well as its sequel, Bear on the Homefront. Among others, he has also written numerous books for the Max & Ruby series and The Adventures of Franklin and Friends collection. Harry lives with his family in Southern Ontario.

Brian Deines is a fine artist and the award-winning illustrator of over 20 children's books, including A Bear in War, Bear on the Homefront, The Road to Afghanistan, and On a Snowy Night. Dragonfly Kites, part of a trilogy written by Tomson Highway, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for illustration and the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award. A graduate of the Alberta College of Art, Brian lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife and daughter.

Read an Excerpt

I watched from the pocket of Aileen's uniform as the children walked down the ramp.

"Where are their mummies and daddies?" I asked.

"Still overseas," Aileen said. "England is being bombed in the war, so many families have sent their children to Canada, where they'll be safe."

A band started to play on the dock and some of the children sang along.

"There'll always be an England, and England shall be free.

If England means as much to you as England means to me."

But two of the children weren't singing. They looked lost and afraid. Aileen went over and introduced herself.

"My name is Grace," replied the young girl in a soft voice. "And this is brother, William. He is five."

Grace pointed to me. "Who's that?"

"This is Teddy," Aileen said.

William peeked his head out from behind his sister.

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