Island of Hope and Sorrow: The Story of Grosse Ile

By Carol-Ann Hoyte

A review of Island Of Hope And Sorrow: The Story Of Grosse Ile by Anne Renaud

Published on March 1, 2007

Island Of Hope And Sorrow: The Story Of Grosse Ile
Anne Renaud

Lobster Press
$18.95
paper
978-1-897073-54-4

In only twenty-four pages of accessible and engaging language, Anne Renaud delivers a powerful and moving account of a little island of great historical significance. Roughly two-and-a-half kilometres long and one kilometre wide, Grosse Île is part of the St. Lawrence River archipelago downstream from the port of Quebec. The mission of the quarantine station on Grosse Île, which operated from 1832 to 1937, was to prevent ship passengers from spreading diseases to the mainland. The terms and concepts explained in text boxes are identified in the text with symbols (feathers, wheels, anchors, lighthouses). The author also includes a timeline (1815-1988) which helps readers keep events in order and places significant Grosse Île events in the context of world history. The story, accompanied by photographs and Aries Cheung’s illustrations, is presented on a mix of blue, white, and salmon-coloured pages decorated with an ocean motif that runs along the bottom edges.

In 1974 Grosse Île was recognized as an historic site and in 1988 Parks Canada opened it to the public. Next year would be an exciting time to visit Grosse Île as part of Quebec City’s celebration of its 400th anniversary. mRb

Carol-Ann Hoyte is the Quebec English-language regional coordinator for TD Canadian Children's Book Week and organizer of monthly mixers for Montreal anglophone children's book authors and illustrators.

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