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Prisoners in the Promised Land: The Ukrainian Internment Diary of Anya Soloniuk (Dear Canada)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  395 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Anya and her family have made a difficult journey to Canada in search of a new life. But soon after they arrive in the land they hoped would welcome them, World War I is declared, and Ukrainians are considered “enemy aliens” — many of them sent away to internment camps. Anya must find a way to deal with the challenges in the land she now calls home.
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published 2007 by Scholastic Canada
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Nicola Mansfield
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: I am reading this whole series. I picked this particular volume because I am participating in a WWI reading challenge.

I've only read a couple of Skrypuch's books so far, but she has become one of my favourite Canadian juvenile authors. Mostly, her historical fiction revolves in some way around Ukrainians as that is where her heritage comes from and her own family genealogy is always a great starting point. Skrypuch does write about other topics but this recurring theme is int
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the Dear America Series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I knew nothing of this chapter in Canadian history and I studied Canadian history and english in university. It's shameful. When I think of how we have treated so many of our native and immigrant population, I begin to wonder about our belief in how accepting we are. How can we learn from our history if we don't advertise and talk about our mistakes? This book laid bare the many tribulations these people survived.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I remember when I learned about America's Japanese internment camps during WWII. I remember being appalled, since I had known so much about the concentration camps and so little about the internment camps.

The story of what happened to the Ukrainians in Canada is so similar, and so heartbreaking. And it's interesting that this is one of the longer time periods covered by one of the diaries. Instead we see more than two years of the girl's life. I enjoyed this one and I'm looking forward to readin
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it
this historical novel tells us about Anya Soloniuk, an Ukrainian girl who lived at Spirit Lake, Quebec. furthermore, this novel illustrates a war between French and England to get the colonization and permanent settlement of Canada. i've got this book for an assignment at Ms. Dunne's class. the plot is designed like a diary, so you won't feel bored. there are a lot of novel in this Dear Canada series. nice one.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to read about Canadian history
Another book from the Dear Canada series, Prisoners in the Promised Land is about the immigration of a Ukrainian girl, Anya Soloniuk and her family, during the years 1914-1916. The author creates a captivating story and provides the readers with a lot of history about the Ukrainian immigrants in Canada.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in learning about Canada's history.
Prisoners in the Promised Land is a great read for those looking to learn more about Canada's history. This book is also important for those wanting to learn about Ukrainian history in Canada, something which hits close to home for me, personally.
I read this once when I was 15 and loved it. Now that I'm in my 20s I've read it again and still enjoyed it. What I love about the Dear Canada series is that they teach younger people about lesser-known Canadian historical events through a young protagonist. You can tell the author does quite a bit of research, and I love the photos and historical notes in the back. Once criticism about the book is that the writing would be a tad sophisticated for a 12-14 year old. Also, in midst of certain situ ...more
Meaghan Steeves
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars I really love this story of a Ukrainian girl and her family immigrating to Canada and the sad turn of World War I and their internment there. She is so close to her family and has a kind heart, yet she isn't a goody goody. The only criticism I would make is the author choosing to cover such a long period of time to the point where toward the end she was only writing every so often and I preferred her writing daily. In defense of that though I understand the author wanting to give a go ...more
Dec 31, 2011 added it
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, fiction
A very good book which tells you about life for a Ukrainian girl living in Canada before and during the War in the form of a dairy. This book gives you an insight into her life and shows you the prejudices she faces in the cites, and the difficulties she struggles with in the internment camp.
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
As a Canadian whom is part Ukrainian I found this novel to be extremely fascinating. There has yet to be a Dear Canada or America book that I haven't loved and this fell right in with the others. Great series!
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I found this story particularly touching because my ancestors came from Russia and while they weren't interned, they had some negative feelings about the experience. After reading this book I feel much more sympathetic.

Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about World War 1 and how Ukrainians got arrested during that time. A girl named Anya Soloniuk comes to Canada from Ukraine. This is a historical fiction book and people who like history might read this book.
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dear-canada
It was really interesting to learn that Canada interned Ukrainians during the War.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Awesome book! I loved it! It was heart breaking, surprising, and more!
Mary Foxe
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I felt the epilogue was cut short, but this is a great book.
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Words cannot describe this book. More of this review will come later...
Adam J
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A window into the Canada that was.
Kristin Proskow
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book for a couple of reasons. First, I love historical fiction. Second, this piece of history is a part of my Canadian Ukrainian heritage.
i love this book
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't know if I would like this book when I started reading it but it was good in the end. I gave it 4 stars because it wasn't one of my favourite books.
Jenna Leigh
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
My memory of this book is that it wasn't as interesting as it looked like it was going to be. I think it might have been a bit redundant at times in the writing, and I just didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other books.
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought this book was good.....i would not say the was intresting.
it was good.
Sep 06, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 if I could do half ratings.
May 06, 2008 marked it as to-read
I need to read this one after the other books
rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2016
rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2015
rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2018
Theodora Addo
rated it did not like it
Oct 19, 2014
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Marsha has received numerous awards and honours for her picture books and young adult novels, including a nomination for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year in 2007. Marsha has penned the bestselling Dear Canada book, Prisoners in the Promised Land.

In 2008, Marsha was awarded the Order of Princess Olha by the Ukranian President, in recognition of her story, Enough, which described th
More about Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Other books in the series

Dear Canada (1 - 10 of 36 books)
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  • A Prairie as Wide as the Sea: The Immigrant Diary of Ivy Weatherall (Dear Canada)
  • With Nothing But Our Courage: The Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald (Dear Canada)
  • Footsteps in the Snow: The Red River Diary of Isobel Scott (Dear Canada)
  • A Ribbon of Shining Steel: The Railway Diary of Kate Cameron (Dear Canada)
  • Whispers of War: The War of 1812 Diary of Susanna Merritt (Dear Canada)
  • Alone in an Untamed Land: The Filles Du Roi Diary of Helene St. Onge (Dear Canada)
  • Brothers Far from Home: The World War I Diary of Eliza Bates (Dear Canada)
  • An Ocean Apart: The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-Ling (Dear Canada)
  • A Trail of Broken Dreams: The Gold Rush Diary of Harriet Palmer (Dear Canada)

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