I was trapped here in this square brick house. Trapped with Willy's threats, Matthew's roars, Kathleen's silences -- not because I couldn't run away again if I chose to, and not because I had no money
I was trapped here in this square brick house. Trapped with Willy's threats, Matthew's roars, Kathleen's silences -- not because I couldn't run away again if I chose to, and not because I had no money, or because I was scared of being alone in the dark countryside.
I was trapped because of Lizzy; because I couldn't turn her into an orphan like me.
Six years ago Maggie was torn from her twin sister and sent to Canada as a Barnardo Home child. Orphaned and completely alone, she found herself living with the Howards, a falling-apart family with a falling-apart farm. Now, just 14 years old, Maggie is already responsible for all of the housework, a great deal of the farm work, and the care of the Howard's four-year-old daughter, Lizzy.
Maggie is meant to stay on the farm for seven more years, but then how would she ever find her sister again? With the words run away whispering through her head, Maggie struggles to find a way to save both herself and Lizzy.
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Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice selection
Red Maple Award Nominee
Geoffrey Bilson Award Honour Book
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Troon Harrison has drawn a vivid picture of Maggie's experiences on the farm, and given us a compelling portrait of Maggie, she is a youngster you care very much about. The whole experience feels so true you can hear the racket in the home, see the sick mother's exhaustion and desperation and feel for the neglected little girl that Maggie tries to mother.
Through Harrison's vivid descriptions, readers will feel they are joining Maggie on her journey. Include A Bushel of Light in your next booktalk about heroines.
- School Library Journal