Ann Walsh has selected fourteen captivating stories written by accomplished authors from across Canada for this historical anthology. Each of the stories focuses on a "first-time" historical experience, such as the meeting between natives and Europeans at Fort St. James; the ship carrying filles du roi as brides for the settlers of New France; the first elections in which women in Canada were allowed to vote; the first gourmet meal cooked in a CPR rail camp for Cornelius Van Horne; a mine disaster in the Crowsnest Pass, with the subsequent introduction of safety lamps for the miners; and an account of the "Home Children" first sent to Canada during the nineteenth century, supposedly for a better life, but often to work in slave-labour conditions. Many of the stories feature real historical people, and others introduce fictional characters to depict the historical situations of earlier times. The volume also contains an appendix with substantial accounts of the historical context of each story. The contributors are Ann Walsh, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Beverley Brenna, Constance Horne, Margaret Thompson, Anne Metikosh, Carolyn Pogue, Margaret Florczak, Jean Rae Baxter, Catherine Goodwin, Victoria Miles, Susan Lee, Laura Morgan and Cathy Beveridge. A vibrant introduction to Canada's history through the eyes of some of its youngest participants.
Ann Walsh is well known for her many historical novels and short stories for young adults. She is the editor of Winds Through Time (Beach Holme, 1998), a best-selling young adult anthology of historical fiction, and the author of The Doctor's Apprentice (Beach Holme 1998), Shabash! (Beach Holme, 1994), Across the Stillness (Press Porcepic, 1993), The Ghost of Soda Creek (Press Porcepic, 1990), Moses, Me and Murder (Pacific Educational Press, 1988), Your Time, My Time (Press Porcepic, 1984). She makes her home in Williams Lake, B.C.
After Winds Through Time, a collection of stories about Canada's past was published, I felt that there were still many more stories about Canada's history, stories about brave young people who did unusual things, who made their mark on our past. The publisher, Ronsdale Press, asked me to contribute a story as well as collecting the other stories and editing them. The Rule of Silence is my story about the Canada's youngest prisoner. He was a nine year old French Canadian boy who was sentenced to three years in the then brand new Kingston Penitentiary.