Dear Canada: A step back in time


A Desperate Road to Freedom

Hoping for Home
Stories of Arrival

ISBN: 978-0-545-98697-7 Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-443-12812-4 Ebook
256 pages | Ages 8-12 | 5 3/8" x 7 5/8"

These eleven wonderful original stories of arrival introduce readers to young boys and girls who bravely face the challenges of setting into a new life in a new land.

Hoping for Home includes stories by Jean Little, Kit Pearson, Brian Doyle, Paul Yee, Irene N. Watts, Ruby Slipperjack, Afua Cooper, Rukhsana Khan, Marie-Andrée Clermont, Lillian Boraks-Nemetz and Shelley Tanaka.

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From Hoping for Home: Stories of Arrival

November 19th, 1964

If it weren't for Rudyard Kipling and Mr. James, I'd be fast asleep by now, like Farkhanda is, like my parents are, like any sane person would be after such a long day. I'm exhausted after helping Abugee carry our massive trunk up seven flights of stairs to our new home, and then unpacking.

But I said I was going to start a journal the first day we arrived in our new land, and I'm doing it.

It won't be like those dusty volumes that Mr. James kept on the bookshelves behind his desk.

But I do mean to record my history, our history, as if it were just as important.

How our teachers back in Pakistan would go on and on about the glory of Britain! Like the one time Mr. James brought in a chit of paper that was ragged and torn around the edges. It didn't look impressive but he held it like it was made of gold. It was a note, addressed to him, that Rudyard Kipling had written. I got to thinking right there and then, Is that British habit of documenting everything so thoroughly what gives them some kind of advantage? Is it that they value their past experiences, instead of like so many Pakistanis I know, who live life day to day, never looking back?

I decided right then that I would try this for myself.

Why not? I'm named after Zayd bin Thabit, the Prophet's (peace be upon him) scribe. Why shouldn't I chronicle my life so that one day I can look back and see where I've been? You never know, maybe one day someone will hold up a slip of paper I once wrote upon and marvel at its value.

Ha! Imagine me becoming as famous as Rudyard Kipling!

Never mind, I might find value in keeping a journal.

When we disembarked this morning in Toronto and drove to the ragtag apartment building here on Caroline Street in Hamilton, I thought, What better time to start than on the first day we arrived here in Canada, a land both exciting and foreign, with no mango or guava trees and not a wild parrot to be seen?

From Dear Canada: Hoping for Home, copyright © 2011 by Rukhsana Khan.


This book is pretty good. All the stories were new! It was pretty nice.
Ally M., Age 10, Ontario, Rating: 7

I loved this book, and stayed up until nine o' clock at night just to finish it! I have always really enjoyed learning about immigrants, and now I learned so much. A really fun, exciting and informative book!
Anna R., Age 9, Alberta, Rating: 9

This was a great book. I loved how it told a whole bunch of small stories in one book, though I love reading all Dear Canada books. The girl’s diary is like you’re there because she expresses feeling and emotion through her life. Every single book does. I think that every girl aged 9-14 should read these books. They are amazing and educational.
Taylor W., Age: 11, Rating: 10

I thought this book was really good and sad. I recommended it to almost all of my friends, and I’m so excited to read another Dear Canada book!
Alicia R., Age: 9, Quebec Rating: 9

This book is amazing. I have to do a book report about it and it is very easy because you put all information everywhere. Your book inspires me and I hope more people will read it.
Jade B., Age 10, Alberta, Rating: 10