It's 1812. War has begun, and thirteen-year-old Alexander (Sandy) MacKay is jealous when his older brother Angus goes off with their father to fight the Americans attacking the Niagara region. Too young to know the darker side of battle, he resents being left to shoulder the work on his family's farm.
Itching to get in on the action, he sneaks away from home and heads to Lundy's Lane to join up with the local militia. But battle is imminent, and now there's not much his father can do except try to shield him from the worst of the fighting.
Sandy's idealized notions of what battle will be like are shattered when the man standing before him is killed by a musket ball and Sandy's own brother is severely wounded. At the battle of Lundy's Lane, the united Canadian/British forces turn the tide against the American troops, but Sandy comes to know how chilling war can be.
Just in time for the bicentennial of the War of 1812, A Call to Battle is a sobering look at the realities of war. Author Gillian Chan skillfully depicts the transformation of an impetuous young boy, full of boyish enthusiasm, into a more realistic young man who emerges on the other side of war.
About the Author
After being an English teacher for ten years, Gillian Chan realized her dream of becoming a writer in 1994. Her first book, Golden Girl and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the Mr. Christie's Book Award. A companion collection, Glory Days and Other Stories, was also a Christie nominee, and made the shortlist for the 1996 Governor General's Literary Award. When she turned to writing novels, Gillian was able to combine her writing with her love of history, writing such books as The Carved Box and A Foreign Field.
During her preparations for An Ocean Apart, Gillian travelled to Vancouver several times, walking the streets that would have been familiar to Mei. Her husband read and translated Chinese newspapers for her from the period in which the story was set. She has just finished writing a new title about the War of 1812 for Dear Canada's "little brother," the I Am Canada series.