News

Living Treaties collection “stands alone”

Posted by on May 2, 2017

9781772060539_FC“Each chapter in its way speaks to the continuing relevance of the treaties and the great need for continued work toward realizing the promise of these peace and friendship agreements,” reads a review in the Journal of Folklore Research review of Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations, edited by Marie Battiste.

“Toward the stated end of educating Mi’kmaw, Canadian, and UK readers about the ongoing importance of treaty relations, the book is written in a lively and accessible narrative style. Even the more technical legal sections are relatively free of specialized jargon. Many readers will appreciate that most chapters begin with a personal introduction from the author. Much of the writing manages to convey complex and exigent arguments while avoiding the sometimes obtuse stylistic conventions of the scholarly article.

“This collection stands alone among literature exploring the political life of Canada’s Atlantic provinces. Living Treaties is an invaluable resource for those interested in the Mi’kmaw nation, yet it is also applicable for other First Nations community members, lawyers, scholars, activists, and allies, as well as anyone interested in Canadian history and politics.”

Link here to the comprehensive review

 

 

“Each chapter in its way speaks to the continuing relevance of the treaties and the great need for continued work… Continue»

Company Houses, Company Towns “seminal” : Review

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Company Houses, Company TownsWe are getting caught up on some recent reviews. Acadiensis, Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region’s April 28 blog features a review of Company Houses, Company Towns: Heritage and Conservation, edited by Andrew Molloy and Tom Urbaniak (CBU Press 2016).

Company Houses, Company Towns is a “fascinating collection,” writes Andrew Parnaby. It “highlights the importance of viewing heritage and conservation as a form of social entrepreneurship.  When this type of community engagement is oriented by an appreciation of the aesthetic value of vernacular places, dedicated to breaking down barriers between issues and institutions, and buoyed by the hope that marginal places may live to see another day, the possibilities for political change multiply. In other words, in the view of the contributors to this volume, the direction of change for working-class communities in post-industrial settings need not always be down and out.”

You can link here to the full review

The April 2017 issue Midwest Book Review’s online book review magazine “Reviewer’s Bookwatch” also features a review of Company Houses, Company Towns, stating that the “seven seminal articles [are] very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections…. [I]t should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.”

You can link here to the full review

 

 

We are getting caught up on some recent reviews. Acadiensis, Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region’s April 28… Continue»

Two-for-two for Hugh MacDonald

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Us and ThemWe are delighted to report that Hugh R. MacDonald’s new novel for young adults, Us and Them, has been selected for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens, Spring Edition 2017.

Hugh’s first novel Trapper Boy was also selected for BBKT, in Spring 2013.

Us & Them is a stand-alone sequel to Trapper Boy. Both are set in 1920s Sydney Mines, the story of JW Donaldson, who twice interrupts his education to work in the coal mine to help support his family.

A fatal accident in the mine awakens JW to just how dangerous working conditions are and to how management seems to care more about production than about the men and boys who are the means of that production.

JW enlists the aid of union activist and local hero, JB McLachlan, and learns that even the young can be a positive voice for change.

CM magazine says “Us & Them is both entertaining and educative. […] Well-structured … Us & Them … brings to life a dramatic and significant part of history.”

Resource Links (vol. 22, no. 2), a valued resource for Canadian learning materials, says Us & Them is an excellent piece of storytelling that should be in the Canadian history curriculum for Grades 7-12. The historical content is accurate, and very compelling, not just as a coming of age story, but as a story that both male and female readers can enjoy […] a remarkable book that will have the reader hoping for the next installment…. Highly recommended for both public and school libraries….”

Us and Them regularly cracks Amazon’s top 100 sales in categories like Canadian historical fiction.

We are delighted to report that Hugh R. MacDonald’s new novel for young adults, Us and Them, has been selected for… Continue»

Novel-inspired Gaelic forest trail inaugurated

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May'17-Inverness-6We were privileged to be part of a special Gaelic Nova Scotia Month event yesterday in Inverness. May 1 is not only May Day, it’s La Bealltainn (Beltane), the Celtic May Day, and it coincides with Arbor Day (U.S.).

What better way to celebrate such a day than to mark the beginning of “Calum’s Forest,” a Gaelic forest trail at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts (ICCA).

Thanks to Frank Macdonald’s world-class novel, A Forest for Calum (CBU Press 2005), readers around the world know that the Gaelic alphabet coincides with the names of trees: A is alm (elm); B is beith (birch).

Inspired by the characters in the novel, an arboretum has been designed in a wooded area adjacent to the Centre. And it was officially launched with a ceremonial tree planting. We love the connection between the planting of a tree and Gaelic Nova Scotia month’s theme: “Gaelic Runs Deep Here.”

The first tree, a hazel (coll), was planted by author Frank Macdonald and Mi’kmaw Elder Tiny Cremo, who related for us the close connection between Mi’kmaq and nature and made an offering with burning sweetgrass.

When completed, Calum’s Forest will spell out in trees, the Gaelic sentiment: “cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho ’n d’thainig sibh” (remember the people from whom you came).

Calum’s Forest and trail is being developed by ICCA in partnership with the Inverness Development Assoc., Morgans Brook Landscaping, NSCC Kingstec and Strait Area campuses and students from Inverness Academy.

Visitors to the centre were also treated to its Shared Stories of Inverness County Gaels exhibit.

Frank Macdonald is the award-winning author of A Forest for Calum, A Possible Madness, Tinker and Blue, and with artist Virginia McCoy, T.R.’s Adventure at Angus the Wheeler’s.

Thanks to Inverness Gaelic learner Caroline Cameron for keeping us informed and involved.

May'17-Inverness-2 May'17-Inverness-3 May'17-Inverness-4  May'17-Inverness-45

We were privileged to be part of a special Gaelic Nova Scotia Month event yesterday in Inverness. May 1 is… Continue»

Reader praise for novel: “Us and Them”

Posted by on February 28, 2017

Us and ThemHugh R. MacDonaldLots of buzz around Hugh R MacDonald’s Us and Them (CBUP 2016) this week. We can’t resist sharing these reader reviews posted on Amazon – especially the calls for a TV series!

Marguerite MacClavey writes:

“Yes, the trials and hardships are articulated very well but so too are the tender moments. Love between a couple married for years and the new love awakening in the hearts of the young ones in their communities reawaken my first loves and the love I now hold for my life’s partner.

“I wish I could gift this book to adolescents who have no idea of the sacrifices many of their ancestors faced. I would even go so far as to say I would love to see this book – and a third one please – made into a movie. I have no doubt that writing of this caliber would translate with ease into a documentary – or even a movie.

“The men and the women in these novels demonstrate the best of us when we are called upon to keep our families together. It would be excellent for our children to watch this with their families and talk about subjects not often enough discussed – ethics, morals, work ethics and the strength of families who forged their values through hard work, worry and love.”

Joan (Joni) Brown (in Nebraska) writes:

“Thank you to the Author. Hugh MacDonald for the story line … of how life was … and how someone can make a difference in another’s life … and pass it forward..:)..”

Fred Lavery writes:

“The themes and images portrayed here are very familiar to anyone who remembers the days of “coal as king” in Cape Breton. It’s easy to picture the faces of our ‘kith and kin’ in the personalities presented, making for affecting results as the story builds. For the younger generations … a realistic look back at the rugged history and hard won labour battles fought by miners and their families in the early and mid-1900s.

“From ‘Trapper Boy’ to ‘Us and Them,’ here’s hoping we get to follow JW’s journey further in the future, then maybe the TV series adaptation….”

TV series has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? (Oh, the Trapper Boy reference is of course Hugh’s first novel, to which Us and Them is a stand alone sequel – but you knew that.)

 

Lots of buzz around Hugh R MacDonald’s Us and Them (CBUP 2016) this week. We can’t resist sharing these reader… Continue»

CM Magazine recommends Us and Them

Posted by on February 26, 2017

Us and ThemWe are delighted for author Hugh R. MacDonald, whose latest YA novel, Us and Them, received a favourable review in CM Magazine (Vol. XXIII Number 23, February 24, 2017).

Us & Them is both entertaining and educative.”

“Well-structured … Us & Them … brings to life a dramatic and significant part of history.”

“Recommended.”

Link to the full review here.

 

 

 

Trapper_FC-webTrapper Boy references Hugh’s first novel (CBU Press 2012), to which Us and Them is a stand alone sequel.

CM (Canadian Review of Materials) is published weekly from September through June and is an all-volunteer online publication which features reviews of books and other materials that are authored, illustrated and/or published by Canadians and that are produced for/of interest to children and adolescents. CM‘s reviewers are teachers, teacher-librarians, public librarians and university professors who have an interest and expertise in materials for juveniles. CM‘s contents are of great interest to those who are seeking evaluative comments to assist them in making personal or institutional purchases of Canadian books or other materials for juveniles. CM is published by the Manitoba Library Association and University of Manitoba.

We are delighted for author Hugh R. MacDonald, whose latest YA novel, Us and Them, received a favourable review in CM… Continue»

Two new reviews favouring Michael Newton’s work

Posted by on February 24, 2017

Naughty Little Book of GaelicNewton-Celts-webWe recently learned of reviews of two of Michael Newton’s recent books, both published in Scottish Gaelic Studies vol. 30 (2016).

Celts in the Americas (CBU Press 2013) “contains a welcome set of wide-ranging papers….” “…the subjects and themes in the collection are fresh. Their consolidation into one volume will be of use to any scholars wishing to expand their knowledge of the Celtic languages in the diaspora….” by Susan Ross, University of Glasgow

Of The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic: All the Scottish-Gaelic You Need to Curse, Swear, Drink, Smoke and Fool Around (CBU Press 2014), illustrated by Arden Powell, reviewer Colm O Baoill writes: “…the Gaelic is spelt perfectly, a feature not common when Gaelic material is presented in an English-language book.”

It’s a “useful light-hearted introduction to lexicons with which most Gaelic learners are not familiar.”

By the way, this review also lauds Arden Powell’s “excellent and cheerful illustrations [which] owe a good deal to the figures of early Gaelic art…”

Memory-Keeper of the ForestMichael’s work continues to draws great praise and invitations, especially for his latest book, Seanchaidh naCoille / Memory-Keeper of the Forest, like the recitations delivered in Québec City Feb.22, 2017, at the Morrin Centre.

We recently learned of reviews of two of Michael Newton’s recent books, both published in Scottish Gaelic Studies vol. 30… Continue»

Anecdotal history a fascinating approach: review

Posted by on February 6, 2017

9781927492901_FCAmong a flurry of reviews received last week are these great comments about Vincent W. MacLean’s These Were My People: Washabuck, an Anecdotal History (CBU Press 2014).

Ethnologies, published by the Folklore Studies Assoc. of Canada, says These Were My People is a fascinating approach to community history “because it allows an author to inject colour and texture into what might otherwise be a dry retelling of facts and dates by focusing on the stories that come directly from the people.”

“MacLean has delivered an impressive account of everyday life,” the review continues, that “offers the reader a unique perspective into a world that is as familiar as some of our own communities, yet infused with the unique influence of Gaelic culture.”

These Were My People was written and edited to be an “anecdotal history,” as articulated in the book’s title. It’s a term we picked up from Cape Breton author Frank Macdonald and we were thrilled to read that the above reviewer commented so favourably on that aspect of Vince MacLean’s great book.

You’re welcome!

Among a flurry of reviews received last week are these great comments about Vincent W. MacLean’s These Were My People:… Continue»

Reeling over reviews

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Reeling RoostersWe received a flurry of copies of reviews last week, including these great comments about Heather Sparling’s Reeling Roosters and Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music (CBU Press 2014).

Béaloideas: The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society (no. 84: 232-35), calls Reeling Roosters “excellently researched.” It’s “fascinating [,] incredibly rich [and] a must read [for] anyone interested in the social and historical contexts of traditional music and song.”

Ethnologies, published by the Folklore Studies Assoc. of Canada, calls Reeling Roosters “a book that fills a significant gap in the literature.”

“Sparling’s work is admirable both in its depth and breadth, successfully engaging in detailed, yet clear explanations of complex, often murky topics.”

“…an enjoyable, well-balanced book. [The writing is] clear and direct [and] fills an important gap in Gaelic and Cape Breton scholarly work.”

We received a flurry of copies of reviews last week, including these great comments about Heather Sparling’s Reeling Roosters and… Continue»

Canadian Gaelic literature focus of Quebec performance

Posted by on February 2, 2017

MNewton-2013-rgbLewis MacKinnonMichael Newton and Lewis MacKinnon will reprise the Gaelic concerts they collaborated on during the period we were launching Newton’s latest book Seanchaidh na Coille /Memory-Keepers of the Forest: Anthology of Scottish-Gaelic Writing of Canada (CBU Press 2015). They performed excerpts from the collection in Toronto and Guelph in 2015, and in Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown during the Atlantic Book Awards festival in 2016, when Seanchaidh was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award.

Later this month, on February 22, 2017, they will be at the Morrin Cultural Centre in Quebec City (7 p.m.). The Centre is in vieux Quebec at 44 Chaussée des Écossais (Quebec City, Quebec G1R 4H3), 418-694-9147.

Michael Newton is the author a numerous books on Scots-Gaelic culture, including the enormously popular Naughty Little Book of Gaelic: All the Scottish-Gaelic You Need to Curse, Swear, Smoke, Drink and Fool Around.

Lewis MacKinnon is a Nova Scotian Gaelic poet, singer and musician. He has published several albums and two poetry collections: Rudan Mì-bheanailteach is an Cothroman, Dàin : Intangible Possibilities, Poems and Famhair: agus dàin Ghàidhlig eile / Giant: and other Gaelic Poems (both from CBU Press, 2014 and 2008, respectively). In 2011, MacKinnon was proclaimed national bard by the Royal National Mod, a first for a poet from outside of Scotland. His was a four-year stint.

An English-language cultural centre located in the historical quarter of Quebec City, the Morrin Centre strives to be a leading cultural institution of national standing, providing the Francophone and Anglophone public with rich, engaging programming in the areas of heritage interpretation, education, and the arts. The Centre is operated by Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, the oldest existing learned society in Canada. Its history is linked to the intellectual development of Quebec and Canada.

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Michael Newton and Lewis MacKinnon will reprise the Gaelic concerts they collaborated on during the period we were launching Newton’s… Continue»