In this Book

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
summary

“I am a girl, 13 years old, and a proper broncho buster. I can cook and do housework, but I just love to ride.”

In letters written to the children’s pages of newspapers, we hear the clear and authentic voices of real children who lived in rural Canada and Newfoundland between 1900 and 1920. Children tell us about their families, their schools, jobs and communities and the suffering caused by the terrible costs of World War I.

We read of shared common experiences of isolation, hard work, few amenities, limited educational opportunities, restricted social life and heavy responsibilities, but also of satisfaction over skills mastered and work performed. Though often hard, children’s lives reflected a hopeful and expanding future, and their letters recount their skills and determination as well as family lore and community histories.

Children both make and participate in history, but until recently their role has been largely ignored. In “I Want to Join Your Club,” Lewis provides direct evidence that children’s lives, like adults’, have both continuity and change and form part of the warp and woof of the social fabric.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments [Includes Image Plate]
  2. p. xi
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  1. Introduction [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. "We Were Nine Days Coming Out": By Ship, by Train by Wagon [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 15-34
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  1. "I Have Two Sisters and a Brother": Family and Community Life [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 35-56
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  1. "We Have No School Here": Education and Schooling [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 57-78
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  1. "I Have a Pony": Children and Their Pets [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 79-100
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  1. "I Want to Tell You of the Fun We Had Today": Games, Hobbies, Clubs, and Community Events [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 101-126
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  1. "I Have Been Trapping This Year": Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 127-144
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  1. "My Father Is Both Fisherman and Farmer": Occupations and Vocations [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 145-166
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  1. "I Shall Be a Farmer": Life and Work on the Farm and Ranch [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 167-184
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  1. "A Story That Is a Little Tragic": Drama, Trauma, and Childhood Adventures [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 185-212
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  1. "My Father Has Enlisted": Children and the First World War [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 213-240
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  1. "I Worked in a Pulp-Mill": Part of the Work Force
  2. pp. 241-250
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