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A Sea of Sorrows: The Typhus Epidemic Diary of Johanna Leary
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A Sea of Sorrows: The Typhus Epidemic Diary of Johanna Leary

(Dear Canada)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In the midst of the Irish famine, Johanna flees one disaster — only to land in another.

After a massive potato famine strikes Ireland, thirteen-year-old Johanna Leary flees to Canada with her family.

But typhus and other illnesses plague the "coffin ships," so named for the staggering number of immigrants who died enroute. One by one Johanna loses the members of her family
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 2012 by Scholastic Canada
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3.98  · 
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 ·  228 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Nicola Mansfield
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely one of the BEST books in this series. It was surprising for me to find that McClintock, famous for her YA mysteries and thrillers, was the author. This is her first historical fiction and her reason and connection to the genre is explained in the author's note; I certainly hope she offers us more. This is a story of the Irish Potato Famine from boarding the ship until one year later in Canada. The book takes place first on the ship then in Montreal and finally ends in Sherbrooke. The ...more
Young Adult Historical Vault
Why not just call it "Unrelenting Misery" and be done with it? Not a bad book, but it lacks a certain emotional depth and affect that would push it into a higher rating. The first edition also suffers from some signs that it was poorly edited and not all that well, which doesn't help the feeling that it was rushed out by the publisher. A fascinating topic, but one that isn't well served by this treatment.

For my full review including spoilers, check out Young Adult Historical Vault. https://yahi
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Canada's history
This is one of my favourites from the Dear Canada series because the author goes into such detail about the Irish Potato Famine and how it relates to Canadian history. Not only do we learn about life in Ireland at that time, we are able to imagine the journey families like the Leary's had to take, to come to Canada. We also get a further understanding of the struggles that those individuals had once they arrived. Therefore this is a must read if you are a fan of the series.
Great edition to the Dear Canada series; this diary tells of Johanna, who faces incredible tragedy when emigrating to Canada with her family after the Potato famine in Ireland. I never realized how detrimental this famine was- and still is- to Irish people. What really shocked me is how the population of Ireland today is STILL not what it was from the mid 1800s! It makes me want to learn more about this part of history.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to read about Canada's history
A Sea of Sorrows is yet another book from the Dear Canada series about a girl named Johanna Leary, who travels with her family from Ireland to Canada during the famine. This story reflects the family's struggles as they endure a gruelling travel experience aboard a ship which harbours a fever known as the Typhus epidemic. Can Johanna and her family survive this epidemic and find their known relative, Johanna's uncle, who lives in Canada?
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dear-canada, medical
I love stories of people living among epidemics and pandemics. I have a couple small complaints. There was a typo on the very first page and in the historical note a picture was used twice. One character had the same name as someone in Titanic.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
AWESOME but also sad. it is a very good book
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So touching and inspirational, truly amazed on how well it was written.
Susan Zuidema
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
So sad...
Meaghan Steeves
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fantastic. Depressing of course, but I enjoyed this a lot more the second time around.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very sad but one of the best books in this series!
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Another great jr. fiction novel. Historical fiction is great.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
It’s tragically official that the Potato Famine isn’t my favorite historical topic. I’m going to read other historical books instead.
Hana H
Nov 01, 2014 added it
this book is amazing but for those of you that don't like tragic deaths involving sickness I suggest u don't read this book! rate 9/10
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review to come!
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great book to read!! Sad, but some relief from sorrow interspersed. Rich history.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
A good look at the discrimination the Irish faced, which seems to be forgotten in the list of people who have been discriminated against in history.
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Norah McClintock’s fascinating mysteries are hard to put down. Her Chloe & Levesque series, Mike & Riel series, and Robyn Hunter series, all published by Scholastic Canada, have been popular with readers in many countries. Norah has also written several crime novels for reluctant readers in the Orca Soundings series from Orca Book Publishers,

Norah is a five-time winner of the Crime Writer

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