From There to Here by Laurel Croza
Illustrations by Matt James
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release Date: May 1, 2014
A little girl and her family have just moved across the country by train. Their new neighborhood in the city of Toronto is very different from their home in the Saskatchewan bush, and at first everything about “there” seems better than “here.” The little girl’s dad has just finished building a dam across the Saskatchewan River, and his new project is to build a highway through Toronto. In Saskatchewan, he would come home for lunch every day, but now he doesn’t come until supper. The family used to love to look at the stars, and the northern lights dancing in the night sky. But in the city, all they can see is the glare from the streetlights. All the kids used to run and play together, but now older brother Doug has his own friends. Then one day there is a knock on the door. It is Anne, who lives kitty-corner and is also eight, going on nine, and suddenly living in Toronto takes on a whole new light.
Because children are unwittingly forced to move, sometimes numerous times throughout their life, I find it incredibly important that there be issue books like these for kids. As a kid who went through a pretty traumatic move (at least in my mind), I think that any story that can help a child understand and accept a new situation is good. This story is very place specific, but the feelings conveyed are universal.
I wasn't particularly fond of the illustrations, however kids have very little art bias so I doubt that this would be a concern of a child.