Using picture books with older readers is a change. We think of picture books as only for the youngest readers but they can also tell powerful stories about big issues. This week we read ...
which tells the true story of a 10 year old boy who is sent away from home in the hopes that he could survive the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic which was sweeping the world. Marven travelled by train, by himself, and then skied 5 miles into a lumber camp in the woods, where he was to meet a family friend who would take care of him for the rest of the year. Marven was astonished by the giant, hardworking, French-Canadian lumberjacks. Their strength in the woods and their friendship helped him to endure. Did you know that 50, 000 people died in Canada due to this virus? Maybe your family has a connection to this historic time. The students were wondering...
How did the virus start?
How long was he away from his family?
Did he ever have contact with the lumberjacks again?
What are the symptoms of the Spanish flu?
What are the side-effects?
Why didn't they send his sisters away too?
Didn't Marven feel lonely with no other kids around?
Was a cure for the disease discovered?
How many flu epidemics have there been in Canada?
What are your questions?