Mary of Mile 18 – Ann Blades

Mary Bergen lives in northern British Columbia.  Her family is homesteading in the B.C. Interior.  Ann Blades paints a picture of rural settler life in the early 1970’s.  I see myself in this book, not because I lived my childhood in rural B.C. but because the people have ethnically Russian Mennonite names – Bergen, Fehr.  The time period feels long ago but I know in northern Canada the experiences are less than three decades old.  I have friends who lived on these kinds of farms with this kind of lifestyle – hard work and few creature comforts.  Written by Ann Blades as a story to reflect the lives of her students, I see the value of this story as showing a particular way of life.  It would work nicely to contrast with the lives of the displaced persons from the land in Northern B.C.  I know this as my story; I would need to be careful to align it with stories which contrast it with the experience of First Nation’s people in the same time period some on reserves, some in cities, with urban people of the same time period.  Thematic links to family, home, culture, school.


1 Comment

Filed under children's lit, curriculum, education, library, literacy

One response to “Mary of Mile 18 – Ann Blades

  1. Debbie Pushor

    I really value how you are awake to your own identity in relation to the literature you are reading and considering sharing with students, Susan. I think it’s a critical piece and one you foreground well.

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