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Posted & filed under Children's Book Reviews

The Vimy Oaks: A Journey to Peace is award-winning writer Linda Granfield’s latest nonfiction picture book, published to coincide with the one-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Like Granfield’s other titles on Canadian military history, The Vimy Oaks uses the experiences of a single soldier to provide the framework for sharing the details of Vimy Ridge and the First World War. In April 1917, Signal Corps member Leslie Miller picked up a few acorns from the muddy battlefields at Vimy and mailed them to his family back home in Ontario. Granfield describes how the oak trees resulting from these acorns became the centre of a project to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War, encouraging readers to reflect not only on the significance of Vimy Ridge, but also the journey to renewal and peace.

Beautifully illustrated with a combination of archival photographs and Brian Deines’ softly expressive paintings, The Vimy Oaks is a compelling addition to Canadian historical nonfiction for younger readers. Granfield’s meticulously-researched text is clear, but never simplistic, and she deftly manages to keep the book’s focus on the theme of remembrance, rather than glorifying military conflict. With possibilities for use in classrooms and libraries long past the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, The Vimy Oaks is highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn more about Canada’s role in the First World War and the ways Canada has chosen to commemorate its soldiers’ sacrifices.

  • The Vimy Oaks: A Journey to Peace

    By Linda Granfield, Illustrated by Brian Deines, Published by North Winds Press- Scholastic Canada Ltd.
    • ISBN 13: 978-1-4431-4850-4
Roseanne Gauthier
Roseanne Gauthier is the Youth Services Librarian for the PEI Public Library Service where she writes book reviews. She has worked in the Faculties of Education at both the University of Prince Edward Island and Mount Saint Vincent University and spent two amazing years as the Children’s Librarian at the Confederation Centre Public Library. She holds a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University, and a M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo. Roseanne lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with her husband, their adorable daughter, and two tuxedo cats.