Family History Month Reading

October is Family History Month.

Autumn is a time of change—a time of falling leaves and cooler days—making it the perfect season to reflect on days gone by and how our roots influence our actions and identities. It is most fitting, then, that October is Family History Month, and there's no better time to reflect on our family stories. In the list below, you'll find some of our familial tales, spanning turn-of-the century Iceland to post-war Italy to modern day Canada with several international stops, time-frames, and even recipes in between.

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 The Emperor's Orphans by Sally Ito (Memoir)

In this personal myth, Sally Ito writes about her family members who were among the 4,000 Japanese Canadians "repatriated" to Japan during the Pacific War. As she uncovers the stories of these "Emperor's Orphans", the upheaval of their lives, and their struggle to establish themselves in a country ripped apart by conflict, Ito explores her own cultural identity through movements of place and voice.

New Release: Available October 15 2018



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Baldur's Song by David Arnason (Fiction)

In this modern Icelandic saga, Baldur is ­buffeted by chance and opportunity in a ­competitive, ­unforgiving new world. From the small Manitoba ­community of New ­Iceland to the bustling streets of ­early twentieth-century Winnipeg, Baldur finds his path while seeking his one true love.

Shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and the Carol Shields City of Winnipeg Book Prize



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Bread, Wine, and Angels by Anna Zurzolo (Fiction)

In this moving tale of girlhood in post-war Italy, a daughter left behind when her parents emmigrated to "poor America" learns about life from her aunt and grandmother. In true sharing of family history fashion, recipes dot the narrative with each chapter openning with a life lesson of its own—a recipe for a classic Italian staple, passed on just as it would from generation to generation.

Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, Runner-Up.



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The Wittenbergs by Sarah Klassen (Fiction)

Alice has given birth to her second child with a genetic disorder. Millicent has withdrawn into a depression. Joseph must choose between being principal of George Sutton Collegiate and the new English teacher who’s caught his eye. And Mia finds herself at the mercy of an unsympathetic teacher while her attractive athletic neighbour ignores her. Only the oldest Wittenberg, the matriarch who holds the key to the family’s Mennonite past, can lead her family along the banks of the Dnieper and toward a better tomorrow.

Winner of the 2013 Margaret McWilliams Award for Popular History



9780888015334 0x280The Significance of Moths by Shirley Camia (Poetry)

Camia exposes her experiences in Canada as a child of immigrants. Although true for many, the newcomer experience magnifies the “strands of the past” that are “bound to the present.” Like a voyager though time and space, she perceives her present through a film of nostalgia for a home she never knew, while she faces a future laden with the expectations of a family who risked everything for a better tomorrow.

The Significance of Moths is a hauntingly beautiful look at the migration process.
– Matt Dionne, AWS Publishing

This is brave, bright poetry distilled and pure.
– Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry