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Fiction. Young Adult. FIREBIRD explores a period in our history—one year in particular (1915–1916)—when a massive number of newcomers were deemed "enemy aliens," arrested and put into internment camps set up all across Canada. Alex Kaminsky, a fourteen-year-old Ukrainian immigrant boy, suffers burns to his hands and face when his uncle's farmhouse burns down. Rescued by a neighbour, he is tended to by a backcountry midwife before being taken in by a local postmaster. Determined to search for his older brother, an itinerant farm worker (and talented artist) who has disappeared, Alex follows Marco's trail from a Vegreville farm to Edmonton. From there he is on the run from officials to Calgary and finally Banff, where he finds his brother close to death in the Castle Mountain Internment Camp. In many ways it is a voyage of discovery for Alex, discovery of the hatred harboured by many for immigrants who once lived happy lives in what has become an enemy empire. But also the discovery of those with a strong sense of humanity who decry Marco's treatment and go the extra mile to help the brothers. For readers who believe such internment camps began only with Japanese Canadians in WWII, FIREBIRD will be an eye-opening experience.
Glen Huser's novels for young readers have been highly praised and won a number of awards. Touch of the Clown was a Mr. Christie Silver Award winner; Stitches won Canada's Governor General's Award for Children's Literature in 2003; and Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen received a Governor General's Silver Medal in 2007. A teacher and librarian for most of his life in Edmonton, he currently lives in Vancouver where he continues to write, pursue his artwork and coach students working on their own books for young people.Author City: VANCOUVER, BC CAN