With Nothing But Our Courage: The Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald, Johnstown, Quebec, 1783


218 pages
ISBN 0-439-98979-5
DDC jC813'.54





Elisabeth Anne MacDonald-Murray is an assistant professor of English at
the University of Western Ontario.


With these two new titles Scholastic Canada continues its successful
Dear Canada series of historical fiction for girls. Mary MacDonald, the
protagonist of With Nothing But Our Courage, is a member of a Loyalist
family in Albany, New York, in 1783. Persecuted and terrorized by its
revolutionary neighbors, the family is forced to flee to British Canada.
Mary’s account of the long and often dangerous journey up the Hudson
and Richelieu rivers to Quebec, and of the many sacrifices and
deprivations suffered by the Loyalists, brings to life an
often-overlooked period of early Canadian history. The diary of Isobel
Scott, Footsteps in the Snow, also depicts the life of early immigrants,
specifically the Red River settlement of Scottish Highlanders
established by Lord Selkirk. Caught in the ongoing feud over territory
between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company, the
settlers struggle to make a living in a harsh and alien landscape, often
with the help of the Métis and Cree.

Like the first two books in the series, these thoughtfully and
carefully produced texts are designed to stimulate the interest of young
female readers in Canadian history by introducing firsthand accounts of
significant periods and events through the medium of a young girl’s
diary entries. The intimate and immediate format of the personal diary,
which combines such commonplace and everyday elements as chores,
lessons, and siblings with references to historical characters and
events, allows the reader to identify with and be drawn into the
historical milieu of the narrator’s world. Award-winning authors
Karleen Bradford and Carol Matas have created two engaging heroines for
their meticulously researched and very entertaining stories. Highly


Bradford, Karleen., “With Nothing But Our Courage: The Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald, Johnstown, Quebec, 1783,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/22416.