Scholastic Canada | Dear Canada - Make History Your Own

Dear Canada: A step back in time


With Nothing But Our Courage

With Nothing But Our Courage
The Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald

By Karleen Bradford

ISBN: 978-0-439-98979-4 Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4431-2818-6 Ebook
224 pages | Ages 9-12 | 5 3/8" x 7 5/8"

When Mary's family sides with the British against the American rebels, they are branded traitors and forced to flee their home. All they have is what they can carry with them — and their determination and courage — when they head north toward Canada.

Along with other Loyalists they hope to start a new life in Québec, where there is land for those who have been loyal to the King. But the journey is treacherous, the winter bitterly cold, and the MacDonalds find it hard to survive. Even with the supplies from Britain, clearing the land to build their home is a struggle. . . But will they even survive to forge a new life in a new land?

Read an excerpt Read the reviews

From Mary's diary:

October 7th, 1783

I do not know how to write of this. It is so awful I cannot bear it, but I am so full of grief and anger and just plain disbelief that if I do not let it out I will die! How to begin?

They came for Father this morning. A loud, rowdy bunch of so-called Patriots with cockades in their hats, all puffed up with righteousness and their own importance. We knew most of them. They were our neighbours. People we used to call friends. Lizzie Crane's father was one of them. And Bolton — his wife and Mother have known each other all their lives! They pulled Father out of the house and dragged him down the path. They just dragged him! And then . . .

This is the part I cannot write. But I must.

They lifted my dear father up and sat him on a mule — backwards! They tied his hands to the pommel and whipped the mule forward. They paraded Father through town that way, shouting vile oaths that I cannot repeat even to this journal. My father! He will die of the shame of this.

Then they brought him back and threw him down in the dust.

"Here's a pass for you, Tory," they shouted, tossing a piece of paper after him. He bent to pick it up, but stumbled and almost fell. Mother rushed forward to support him and snatched up the paper.

"Get out of here!" she screamed at the men. Her face was all twisted up and she was crying. "Get out!"

Then she put her arms around Father and he just kind of slumped against her. I started to run toward them but the sound of Ned Bolton's voice stopped me as surely as if he had reached out and struck me.

"Use that pass and be out of here by morning!" he cried. "All of you. We don't want filthy Tories in this town!"

From Dear Canada: With Nothing But Our Courage, copyright © 2001 by Karleen Bradford.


I picked up this book thinking I'd throw it back on a shelf, but really, I read the whole thing! It is so good, and I can't wait to read another. What I really like about it is how it isn't afraid to let things happen (ex. Baby Margaret's death). I am hoping the other Dear Canada books are just as great.
Destiny P., Age: 13, Ontario, Rating: 9

This was the first book I read in the series. I completely fell in love with it. It is so hard to put down. I recommended it to all my friends and they loved it. I strongly recommend it for girls who like learning about history but with more fun put into it.
Carolyne A., Age: 10, Ontario Rating: 10

Such an awesome book. Mary MacDonald has wonderful adventures. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes Dear Canada!
Maya R., Age 9, Ontario, Rating: 9

With Nothing But Our Courage is one of my most favourite books in the Dear Canada series. It is very sad and the author clearly expresses Mary's emotion. By reading this book, I understood about the lives of the loyalists, since that's what we are studying in history this term.
Laura S., Age 14, Ontario, Rating: 10

When I read this book it was so good I could not stop reading it. It only took me about 3 hours to read it that is how good it was. It is so sad but yet so true that it made me want to cry.
Jean Marie H., Age 13, U.S.A., Rating: 10

This was my favourite Dear Canada book because throughout the whole book all she had was her courage. She never gave up and when times (whole story) were tough she never gave up hope.
Mikayla S., Age 11, Ontario, Rating: 9

I like it because that girl goes through peril then everything turns good!
Jean H., Age 10, Alberta, Rating: 10

This is one of the best dear Canada books. It's so sad what happens.
Ashish G., Age 12, Ontario, Rating: 9

It was one of the best books I have ever read! It feels as though Mary is so similar to me but we are really so far apart. Thank you so much to Karleen Bradford for making such a wonderful book!!
Jenna W., Age 9 Rating: 10