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Publisher: Markham: Fitzhenry and Whiteside , 2010.
Cover Art: David Craig
Summary: Bonnie’s family has been hit hard by the Depression. Relocating to a new farm in a new community is supposed to give them a fresh start. But Lang, Ontario holds its own set of problems: local bullies, an unsympathetic teacher, and new best friends, while her family are coping with the challange of making do with less. A story of courage, community, and determination.
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Tied for Children’s Novel Award by The Word Guild 2011; on the Canadian
Children’s Best Books list for 2011.
Fitzhenry & Whiteside – News Release Review
PETERBOROUGH NOVELIST NOMINATED FOR DIAMOND WILLOW AWARD
March 5, 2012, MARKHAM, ON —Fitzhenry & Whiteside is pleased to announce that No Small Victory by Connie Brummel Crook has been nominated for the 2012 Diamond Willow Award, one of three categories in the Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Willow Awards. In 2010, over 12,000 Saskatchewan students participated in voting for their favourite book*. Nine other titles join No Small Victory in the grades 4-6 category. Earlier last year, No Small Victory won the Word Guild’s 2011 Canadian Christian Writing Award in the children’s book category, and was nominated for the historical novel category. It was also a 2011 Best Bets for Kids and Teens selection.
Crook was delighted with the nomination. “One of my books, The Hungry Year, was in a similar competition in Ontario, and I enjoyed so much the students’ enthusiasm.” Before retiring, Crook had been an educator for thirty years. Her novel, drawing closely from her own experiences, follows a young girl during the Depression. “I am hoping that students will see that the depression, though difficult, did bring families together, and so recessions today may do the same. The true value of family and friends is so much more precious than mere possessions. Although this is a story set in 1936, some problems don’t change—like the existence of bullies—but different ways of controlling these problems have emerged. I hope this might lead to helpful class discussions.”
About the Book
It’s the Hungry Thirties and Bonnie’s family has been hit hard by the Depression. Relocating from their farm in Massasaga to Lang, Ontario, is supposed to give them a fresh start. But Lang soon presents its own set of challenges for Bonnie and her family as they learn to adapt to their new surroundings—and get by with less.
For Bonnie, settling into her new school is an uphill battle. Still, in spite of an unsympathetic teacher and a few malicious schoolyard bullies, a series of small victories soon sets Bonnie onto a new path of success. After a devastating scarlet fever epidemic, a headlice infestation, and a skating incident gone dangerously wrong, Bonnie’s classmates soon realize that this spirited newcomer has more than enough gumption and courage to become an invaluable member of their community.
On the home front, Bonnie’s family must be resourceful if they are going to put food on the table. Their hopes rest on a precious clutch of chickens carefully hatched in their living room and then sheltered in an outdoor shed. Disaster strikes when the shed door blows open in a storm and their young chickens are trampled by a stampeding sow. At the urging of her new friends, Bonnie enters a regional spelling bee in the hopes that the cash prize will be enough to replace the lost poultry and save her family.
Praise for No Small Victory:
“[A] quiet and earnest tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit.”
“The strength of this novel is in the details, and they bring the era alive in a believable way. Rural Ontario is vibrantly described— the flowers, rivers and landscape, the style of dress and food and the atmosphere of a one-room schoolhouse. There are memorable scenes of the humiliation of getting lice, a chimney fire at school, a spelling bee and avoiding the game warden. The other strength is the character of Bonnie who is smart, obstinate, a little out of control.”
“Reminiscent of Bonnie’s favorite book, Anne of Green Gables, in both character and tone, this is an entertaining story with a great basis in history.”
—School Library Journal
“No Small Victory would serve readers interested in learning about what it was like to be a child during the Great Depression.”