Scholastic Canada | Dear Canada - Make History Your Own

Dear Canada: A step back in time


Read a letter from the author

Sarah Ellis

Congratulations to SARAH ELLIS, nominated for the second time for the prestigious international Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Sarah Ellis has written many children's books, including Pick-Up Sticks, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, Odd Man Out, which won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, and The Baby Project, which won the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Book Prize. In 1995 Sarah was honoured with the Vicky Metcalf Award for her outstanding body of work. In addition to her own writing, Sarah is on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts and reviews children's literature for Quill & Quire and The Hornbook.

Sarah's mother grew up in small-town Saskatchewan, and her stories of her childhood inspired Sarah to write A Prairie as Wide as the Sea. While doing research for the book, Sarah was surprised to discover a letter in a 1927 newspaper that her mother had written. Sarah's mother had died decades earlier, so finding this letter from her mother, then a girl herself, was "a gift."

Another gift is that in researching and writing three Dear Canada titles, Sarah has become more alert to all the stories our country has to offer.

Sarah lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dear Canada books by Sarah Ellis:

  • Prairie as Wide as the Sea
  • Days of Toil and Tears
  • That Fatal Night


I've always liked clubs. When I was a kid I was a member of many invented clubs. A few of us would get together and have a long planning meeting in which we discussed our goals, membership guidelines and organizational structure. Then we would elect officers and design the club button and then we would have about one meeting and then it was over. Having written for the Dear Canada series was like being part of another very enjoyable club. We're spread across the country so we can't meet in person, but we have something important in common, which is that we've looked at one specific part of Canada's past through the lens of a girl who writes a diary. I also imagine a kind of shadow club of all the girls we've invented and another of all our readers. In all three clubs there are new members in the wings that we don't even know about yet. All we have to do now is get to work designing that club button.