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Written by Laurel Croza & illustrated by Matt James

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.

Laurel Croza and Matt James have beautifully captured the voice and intense feelings of a young child who, in the midst of upheaval, finds hope in her new surroundings.

 

Reviews...

"Croza’s spare text captures the narrator’s feelings of displacement with poetic immediacy."
- Quill & Quire, *starred review

(read the complete review)

"Through a series of sensory-steeped, one-on-one contrasts called out and pictured on opposing pages, the girl (who also narrates) comes to realize that “different” is not necessarily “better” or “worse,” and that she herself has the power to make her new surroundings not only acceptable but also satisfying."
- New York Times Book Review

(read the complete review)

"Readers will come to understand that while 'here' and 'there' are different, different is OK, especially when you have the support of a new friend."
- Publishers Weekly, * starred review

(read the complete review)

"A low-key, emotionally true approach to a common and usually upsetting childhood experience."
- Kirkus, * starred review

(read the complete review)

"Little ones struggling to adjust to a new home or missing their old one will find comfort here."
- Booklist

"Expressionistic acrylic and ink illustrations add depth to the story."
- School Library Journal

"The palette of the Toronto scenes is predominately blue-sky sunny, reflecting the story’s ultimate optimism . . . we know that the ride begun at the close of the book promises both amity and adventure."
- Horn Book

"Croza and James twice prove the strength of their complementary collaboration, creating a poignant journey both timely and timeless."
- Book Dragon

"As in any great picture book, the text should be complemented by the illustrations, as Laurel Croza and Matt James have done so easily in From There to Here. They found the means to endow memories and new experiences with the quality of perspective, effortlessly taking the reader on a smooth journey From There to Here."
- CanLit for LittleCanadians

here

  From There To Here

Published by Groundwood Books

• Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
(2015: Finalist)

• Forest of Reading Silver Birch Express Award
(2015: Finalist)

• Cooperative Children's Book Centre Choices
(2015: Selected)

• CBC Radio / The Next Chapter, Summer Reading List for Kids
(2014: Selected)

 
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© Laurel Croza. Illustrations by Matt James. Website by Hoffworks