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Jane S Buttery

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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Authorhouse ISBN-10:  1420883755 Type: 


Copyright:  2 February 2006

This novel takes the reader to Amherstburg a border town in 1846-47. It shows the growing prejudice to the fugitive slaves who settle there. Also the Irish come after the Potato Famine. Two boys become friends and support each other.

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Josh Stokes, son of a former slave is being educated in an inter-racial school in Amherstburg. But he is being bullied by some who oppose him being there. By accident he meets Seamus Maloney from Cork Ireland ; his family left because of the Potato famine and he is very poor. He can't read. Josh offers to help him and Seamus is delighted. They become firm friends and support each other against the Warton Gang.

 Josh loves to learn and teach and Seamus reveals his musical ability. There are events in the town where they both take part culminating in a fire in winter of 1847 . This is based on areal event. It makes the story exciting.

 Another interest is the boys lake-trip to faraway Toronto to help collect Seamus' cousins who were orphaned when their parents died of cholera.

Professional Reviews

Local History in New Novel
Jane Buttery has done an excellent job in revealing much history of the time through the personal lives of two boys living in Amherstburg in 1846. This book is an interesting way to read about our area and learn some history.
HEIRS reviewer in March newsletter

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Reader Reviews for "An Unexpected Friendship- Amherstburg 1846"

Reviewed by Wayne Walker 6/2/2012
Do you think that bullying might have existed 150 years ago? It is 1846, and twelve-year-old Josiah (Josh) Stokes, a negro boy, lives in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, on the Detroit River. About ten years earlier, his parents had run away with their two-year-old son to escape slavery in Kentucky and come to Amherstburg to live in freedom. His father, mother, and two younger sisters, Angelina and Corrie, have a farm outside of town which Mr. Stokes was given as a reward for serving in the militia during the rebellion of 1838. However, Josh has been dwelling in town with his uncle and aunt, James and Corrie Alexander, so he can attend the Dougall School under Mr. Peden and also work in his uncle’s store.
Seamus Maloney, a couple of years older than Josh, has just arrived in Amherstburg with his father, mother, and younger sister Mary and brother Dermot, from Cork, Ireland. An older brother and sister had died on the voyage. Seamus learns that his cousins, the Hartes, have also left Ireland for Canada, but the Maloneys have heard no word from them in a long time and wonder what has happened to them. Josh and Seamus meet and form an unexpected friendship. However, there is a good deal of prejudice among some in Amherstburg towards both blacks and Irish. Josh is being bullied by Billy Watson and his friends. Will Seamus stand up for his new friend or join in with the bullying? And will the Maloneys ever see their cousins again?
An Unexpected Friendship is great historical fiction for young people, dealing accurately with such universal problems as racial prejudice and bullying. Author Jane Buttery says that while the two boys and much of the story is fictional, she did use family names which she found in Amherstburg’s census of 1841, including James Alexander, Peter Stokes, the Maloneys, the Hartes, and the preachers Alexander Mack, Francis Gore Elliot, and Robert Peden, and some actual events like the disastrous fire at Dougall School in the winter of 1847. It is a wonderful window to help youngsters understand better what life would have been like in Canada during the middle nineteenth century, especially for escaped slaves and Irish immigrants.
Reviewed by Rick Lodewell 1/31/2007
Inspiring, and a wonderful read.
Reviewed by Tracey L. O' Very 3/14/2006
Jane, This story sounds very interesting and educational and full of adventure as well. I will let you know but I'm positive I will love this story. As you see I'm a lil bit o' that Irish!
Happy St. Patricks Day!
Tracey and Gang 43xoox(c :)

Books by
Jane S Buttery

An Unexpected Friendship- Amherstburg 1846

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If I could Go to the Harrow Fair Special 150 years Edition

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I Know the Rules. Do You?- Safe from the Fire-Explorer Sam

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A Cookie for the Christ Child

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No, Says... I Love You- A Safe Day at home with Explorer Sam

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Mei Ling Discovers Jack Miner

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