From 1928 to 1971, a cavernous, shed-like building stood on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, greeting newcomers while bidding farewell to its own. Located in Halifax Harbour, Pier 21 was the first part
From 1928 to 1971, a cavernous, shed-like building stood on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, greeting newcomers while bidding farewell to its own. Located in Halifax Harbour, Pier 21 was the first part of Canada visited by immigrants travelling from the East, and the last view of home for Canadians departing for Europe. To all Canadians, it was an iconic landmark that stood for something more than itself during a period of turmoil and change.
In Pier 21, Anne Renaud sheds light on an experience shared by so many. In clear easy-to-read language, she chronicles the diversity of the immigrant experience and gives voice to those whose accounts might have otherwise been lost forever. Over the course of nearly half a century, Pier 21 welcomed more than one million immigrants, just as it saw nearly 500,000 service personnel off during World War II. Renaud records a wide range of experiences across different ages and backgrounds, exploring issues of prejudice, hope and uncertainty. Pier 21 reproduces the accounts of home children and guest children, soldiers and war brides, refugees and displaced persons-all carried to and from its doors by great ocean liners, military ships and small sailing vessels.
Filled with historic photos and educational sidebars, Pier 21 is a perfect lens through which to view Canada's evolving identity in the 20th century, and to understand the people who helped define it.
View Biographical note
Is a children's author from Quebec who writes in both French and English. She has published several picture books for 4-8 year olds, as well as historical non-fiction books for 9-12 year olds. Her work has been shortlisted for several literary awards, including the Silver Birch Award, the Hackmatack Children's Choice Award, the Red Cedar Book Award, the Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature, as well as the Red Maple Award. Anne is a regular contributor to children's magazines, such as Highlights, Pockets, Cricket, Odyssey, Faces, Clubhouse and Shine.
View Excerpt from book
As Hitler's war machine advanced across Europe, Great Britain soon realised it too might be invaded. In the summer of 1940, German bombs fell on London. At night, the air raid sirens wailed and people scrambled into bomb shelters. Fearful for their children, many British families decided to send them to other countries for safekeeping. These countries included the United States, Australia, South Africa, and Canada. Many children were sent to Canada through a program funded by the British government called the Children's Overseas Reception Board. From all over Great Britain, children travelled to Liverpool, England, and Glasgow, Scotland, to board ships bound for Canada. The children were allowed to take whatever could fit into one suitcase, and wore name labels pinned to their jackets and sweaters for identification.
View Review text
"It will be a great addition to Canadian social studies programs and should serve as a springboard for further research into the multicultural nature of Canada's present population. I would recommend this book for all school and public libraries."
— Resource Links
"Readers learning about Canadian immigration and both World Wars will be impressed with the excellent research that went into the production of this chronicle. The timeline simplifies the events, and the lexicon explains the terms of the era. Splashed throughout the book are "History Notes" which offer further details on the featured topics. Canadian history comes alive with the personal stories of immigrants, home children, military troops, guest children and war brides. The combination of drawings and black and white photos, newspaper headlines, and artifacts like passenger lists and war medals directs the reader towards a deeper appreciation of that era of hope. . . The contents of Pier 21 are a must-read for any Canadian history student. If only all accounts of our rich history could be presented in such an excellent, informative arrangement, Canadians would have a greater appreciation for our colourful past.
— CM Magazine