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Dear Canada: Exiles From the War


Dear Canada: Exiles From the War
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When a frightened boy and girl arrive on the Twiss family’s doorstep to escape the war in England, Charlotte wonders how she can help her war guests feel safe, even as she starts to feel concerned.

An Excerpt from Exiles from the War

Nearly midnight

I can’t get to sleep so I am going to write a little more and see if that helps. The house is all in darkness and a bit spooky. It is so eerie knowing our two War Guests are just across the hall. I don’t know why their English accents were such a shock to me. I knew they were English the whole time. They keep reminding me of children in British books who have nannies and wear frocks and have tea instead of supper. I almost asked Jane if they had a nanny and then decided not to.

They come from Wembley, which is part of London, I think. Their father has a dairy business with milk wagons pulled by horses. I wonder if they look like our milk wagons.

Sam loves those horses. They aren’t riding horses, but he learned to ride them before he could walk. That is what Jane says anyway. Jane doesn’t ride them at all because her mother thinks girls have to be ladylike. When she began to talk about her “mum,” I thought she would burst out crying. Then Sam said, “Don’t forget what Daddy told us.” She bit her lip and nodded. When Dad asked what it was, Sam said, “Always remember that we British are the bravest of the brave.”

“True enough,” Dad said — as though we Canadians were a bunch of cowards. I wanted to say something but did not.

When Jane says my name, it sounds like “Shawlot.”

After supper, Aunt Carrie came over with a box of Tinkertoys for Sam. They are nice and he is pleased, I guess, but I think he is a bit too old for them. And what about Jane and me? Why couldn’t she give them to all of us?

I just yawned so I will stop writing now.

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