Scholastic Canada: I Am Canada

Adventure. Duty. Danger. Fear. I Am Canada

I Am Canada:
Defend or Die

By Gillian Chan
9781443113052 HC
9781443142731 EBK

192 pages
Ages 10 - 14 | 4 3/8" x 6 ½"

A rarely told World War II story: that of the Canadian troops sent to defend Hong Kong from the invading Japanese.

Nineteen-year-old Jack Finnigan is a born troublemaker. He has grown up defying authority and leaves his small town to enlist in the Royal Rifles. He expects adventure . . . and is not afraid of danger. Little does he know what awaits across the Pacific, where his untested regiment is being sent to defend the vulnerable British colony of Hong Kong.

The Royal Rifles and the Winnipeg Grenadiers, many of them young and untrained, quickly find themselves in the thick of battle as the Japanese attack on Sunday, December 7, 1941 — the same day as the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After a month of fighting, Hong Kong falls to the Japanese.

Jack conveys the fierce battles of those hard weeks, including the surrender and capture of his unit, and even his brutal time in the POW camp. It is through his friendship with a once-despised sergeant that Jack learns how to survive.