The Little Immigrants

The Little Immigrants

The Orphans Who Came to Canada

Book - 2001
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The Little Immigrants is a tale of compassion and courage and a vivid account of a deep and moving part of Canadian heritage. In the early years after Confederation, the rising nation needed workers that could take advantage of the abundant resources. Until the time of the Depression, 100,000 impoverished children from the British Isles were sent overseas by well-meaning philanthropists to solve the colony's farm-labour shortage.

They were known as the "home children," and they were lonely and frightened youngsters to whom a new life in Canada meant only hardship and abuse. This is an extraordinary but almost forgotten odyssey that the Calgary Herald has called, "One of the finest pieces of Canadian social history ever to be written." Kenneth Bagnell tells "an affecting tale of Dickensian pathos" ( Vancouver Sun ) that is "excellent ... well organized, logical, clearly written, [and] suspenseful" ( The Edmonton Journal ).

Publisher: Toronto : The Dundurn Group, c2001
Edition: New ed
ISBN: 9781550023701
1550023705
Branch Call Number: 325.71 BAG 2001
Characteristics: 239 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., ports. ;,24 cm

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TomHoy
Nov 26, 2013

Amazon.com review 5.0 out of 5 stars ....................................................................

5.0 out of 5 stars How Could We Have Never Heard of This?, June 28, 2013......................................................

I was spellbound from first word to last. I'd just seen a t.v. documentary on the English children shipped to Australia so I Googled to find a book on it when I found this one - of English children who had been shipped to Canada.....thousands of them...................................................................

What the author did brilliantly was paint effective portraits of both sides. From the government's side, they were doing their best to improve the lives of street children and those from impoverished families................................................................. But from the children's side, they faced such agony and emotional strife from being swept away from any family they did know and into a life which for some was tantamount to
slavery considering what was expected of them........................................................................

I hope everyone reads this and becomes as engaged in it as I did. It is thought provoking and eye-opening.

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TomHoy
Nov 26, 2013

Amazon Review 5.0 out of 5 stars ...............................................................Full of heartache and hope, September 28, 2004 By
Sigrid Olsen (Salem, OR United States) -...............................................................................

I didn't know much about the immigrant orphans (except for a bit about Dr. Barnardo's). There were some incredible stories in this book--the kids who were abused so badly that the community advocated their running away. .............................................................................................I also enjoyed the story about the boy who ends up at the home of the brother and two sisters who are very old, but they show him some affection which is a turning point in his life........................................................................................................ I use this story in my American Freshman History class and the kids just about start crying every time..........................................................................................................

Mr. Bagnell also follows up on their later lives. This fabulous, sad book is important social history. It dovetails perfectly with the whole Progressive Movement hits and misses--the reservation schools, the temperance movement etc.......................................................................................

Mr. Bagnell allows the immigrants to "tell their own story.".................................................................................

This is one of the most memorable books I've read.

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