The Desperate Journey by Kathleen Fidler
The Desperate Journey tells the story of the Highland Clearances as they affect one small family. The Murrays are forced to load their possessions onto a cart and travel across Scotland to Glasgow. Here the children have to work in a mill and live in overcrowded and dirty lodgings. The family are offered the chance to join an emigrant ship bound for Hudson Bay in Canada, and make a perilous journey into a new life in the Red River Colony. The spirit and resourcefulness of Davie and Kirsty shines through all their hardships as they witness the evictions and burning of the crofters' homes; endure the hardships of child labour in a Glasgow cotton mill; survive the Atlantic crossing on a disease-ridden ship; and witness bitter feuding among rival colonists. Kathleen Fidler's skill at bringing characters to life has enthralled generations of readers and will no doubt do so for many more years to come.