Orphan at My Door: The Home Child Diary of Victoria Cope by Jean Little (2nd book in the Dear Canada series)
For her eleventh birthday, Victoria Cope receives a new diary, which she vows to keep faithfully. There is plenty of description, but also a lot of dialogue since Victoria “hate[s] books where there are whole pages without anyone saying a word.”
Orphan at My Door is set in the historical context of late 19th century Canada. The Cope family takes in a Home Girl from London’s Barnardo Home to help around the house. These children were often looked down on and not treated as one of the family, but Victoria soon grows very fond of Marianna. Victoria discovers that Marianna harbours some sad secrets and does all she can to find a way to make them right.
Filled with honest tragedy and sadness, this book is also sprinkled with humour and suspense.
Available from Hamilton Public Library, also in downloadable e-book format.
Age: 10 and up; probably a good read-aloud to help younger children understand and process the sad and tragic parts