Town Is by the Sea

Town Is by the Sea

Book - 2017
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A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather's grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner with his family, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.

With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of Canadian history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a Cape Breton mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.

Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books, 2017.
ISBN: 9781554988716
Branch Call Number: JP Schwa
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 x 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Sydney - Illustrator


From Library Staff

An evocative tribute, the illustrations in this book express the dichotomy between the beauty of the sea and the dangerous coal mines that exist below it. Nominated for the Ontario Library Association's Golden Oak Award, this book brings Canadian history to the forefront in a captivating way.

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Dec 26, 2017

This book does a great job of evoking certain emotions through the artwork and the story. I'll be looking for more stories from this author.

smacg_library May 18, 2017

This is a hauntingly beautiful book that will be especially meaningful for anyone from rural Nova Scotia. It perfectly captures the breathtaking beauty surrounding the small mining communities built up along the coast as well as the danger, uncertainty, and inevitability that was the backdrop of any mining family's life.

May 14, 2017

I thought the illustrations were goregous and the story itself was very lyrical, but I didn't think that this story necessarily matched the author's note at the end of the book. I didn't feel that this story quite captured the danger of working in the mines and I don't think it was very clear that it was set in 1950. Overall, I enjoyed the illustrations and the story, but I found the nuances of it, hard to place.

Apr 20, 2017

A lyrical tribute to labor and to the way of life in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia - This story takes place in the 50's, but there is talk of resurrecting a coal economy in Canada.

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