Tom Penny and the Grand Canal

Tom Penny and the Grand Canal

Book - 1982
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Publisher: Toronto, ON : McClelland and Stewart, 1982.
Edition: 1st ed.
Branch Call Number: +YA GER
Characteristics: 144 pages

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j
Joshua2415
Jul 16, 2014

We read this as part of our Canadian studies in upper elementary homeschool. Specifically, we wanted to have an historical fiction account of the lumbering days of Bytown (now Ottawa) and the subsequent building of the Rideau Canal. This was the era of "canal fever" in Canada, wherein canals were seen as an optimum transportation highway. Plans were underway to build a canal on the Ottawa River (called the Grand River in that day) at Fitzroy Harbour to allow travel from Quebec and Montreal up the Ottawa to the Mattawa, Lake Nipissing, and the French River, which spills into Lake Huron. This would provide a streamlined route from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the inner Great Lakes.

In "Tom Penny and the Grand Canal," a riveting story unfolds of scandal, fraud, and murder because of plans to build the Grand Canal. Real-life people figure prominently in the story, including Lt-Col John By and lumber baron Philemon Wright. The book takes the reader through Montreal, Kingston, Perth, and By's Town, as well as many of the lock stations and lakes of the Rideau Canal system. Tony German's development of these historical and fictitious characters/elements was credible and satisfying.

Our children begged to read more than just the homeschool day's assigned chapters, and we were on the edge of our seat most of the time. A delicious and compelling read!

It is important to read the Tom Penny novels in their intended order, otherwise the story will be rather incomprehensible. The first novel is "Tom Penny," the second is "River Race," and the last is this novel, "Tom Penny and the Grand Canal."

The whole series is highly recommended reading.

d
DRGrimes
Feb 10, 2014

Fast paced action and wonderful historical accuracy - Ottawa Valley / Upper Canada at the time of the construction of the grand Canal.

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j
Joshua2415
Jul 16, 2014

Joshua2415 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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