Ellie’s New Home

Illustrated by:
Don Kilby


Orca Book Publishers

Pub Date: 

$ 7.95

My Books

Ellie’s New Home

Ages 7 - 11

82 pages, 12 chapters

The Story

Ten steps . . . and then ten more. I could hear Mary breathing hard beside me. Suddenly a dark shape slid out of the trees in front of us. It had thick grey fur and a pointed face like a dog. “A wolf!” hissed Mary. She grabbed my shoulder. I felt like I was frozen to the ground.

In 1835, Ellie, Max and their father set sail from England to a new life in Upper Canada. Grandmother in England is opposed to the move. “She’s not strong,” sniffs Grandmother. “There will be no churches or schools. How can you even consider such a thing?” Once they arrive in Canada, Papa leaves the children with a family of strangers while he travels alone to find land and build a cabin. Homesick and unused to pioneer life, Ellie makes an enemy of Mary, who dislikes Ellie’s fine clothes and London manners. But as the days go by, Ellie’s problems are replaced by a growing fear. Where is Papa? Why hasn’t he come back for them?

What inspired the story?

I have always been interested in Canadian history and I love the books by Catherine Parr Trail and her sister Susanna Moodie, who immigrated to Upper Canada in the 1800’s and wrote about their experiences.  Catherine Parr Trail, in her book called A Canadian Settler’s Guide, tells how children of families immigrating to Upper Canada were sometimes left with strangers, while their parents continued on to look for land and build a shanty. She warns that parents should take careful note where and with whom they leave their children. It was feared that because of the long poorly marked routes, they might not be able to find them again and reunite as a family. I immediately visualized Ellie and Max left with strangers and wondering if their father would return for them.

*Shortlisted for the Rocky Mountain Book Award 2002

*Recommended selection in Best Bets 1998 Ontario   Library Association

*Recommended selection in Canadian Children’s Book   Center “Our Choice 2000”

*Recommended selection in   The Year’s Best 2000   Resource Links Volume 6 Number 2

*Recommended selection in Great Books for Girls,   Halifax   Public Libraries April 2004

What people are saying about Ellie’s New Home
A definite asset to elementary school libraries. 

Resource Links Volume 5 Number 4

Strong characters and an enlightening and compelling story.
Resource Links Volume 12 Number 1
Citra shows us two quite real children faltering towards friendship. Use of first person narrative helps the reader step into Ellie’s shoes as she encounters life in the wilderness. Citra has a talent for evoking clear pictures with an economy of words. (The writing) is lively.
Canadian Children’s Literature CCL No. 105-106
A credible picture of pioneer life in a realistic story. Positive models demonstrate good problem solving techniques.
Resource Links
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