Footsteps in the Snow: The Red River Diary of Isobel Scott

A Dear Canada Novel by Carol Matas

Description: Isobel thinks that she and her family will find their fortune in Canada. But Isobel’s mother dies before they even cross the ocean, and other misfortunes follow their every step. Isobel’s family and the other Selkirk Settlers are caught in the fur-trading rivalry between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company and cannot even start to build when they do reach their destination. The harsh climate, and escalating threats against the settlers, make it impossible to start a new life. Only through perserverance and help from the local Cree band are Isobel and her family finally able to put down roots in the Red River Valley. Vetted by historical experts, each book in this series contains maps, numerous period illustrations, and an extensive historical note.

I’m not sure why lately, but I’ve been enjoying old 1800’s Canada stories lately. Yes this one was obviously a book made for younger kids, but I really enjoyed it! There was a ton of local (the book, for me is very local… I know exactly where they were) history and I actually even learned a few things about that time. And those battles and all about the forts. It was a fun story while being cool and informative for me. The characters were a bit stiff and formal but it’s hard to get super attached when it’s in diary format, she’s telling you briefly about them and what they’ve done.. you’re not seeing conversations between them or experiencing anything with them throughout The book, so that makes sense. I didn’t like how repetitive the little girl seemed to be in her diary entries, she’d say something and basically say the same thing a few ‘days’ in a row.. it makes sense because it was in anticipation of leaving in a week or whatever but it just could have been longer times in between entries then. But I could overlook that, it was a minor complaint. One of the things that I couldn’t get over however was that It did seem quite insensitive at times with the natives being called savages so freaking often, I guess the author wanted it to be a historically accurate diary with the ‘Right’ words (not that I believe that it’s right)…Either way I think she could have left out the whole savages thing. But otherwise I thought it was a pretty good book! It was fun being able to picture them walking through places that I’ve driven so often. So crazy!

I rate this book




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