In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
“Today’s kids can be inspired by meeting in print some of the ‘Home Children’ shipped to Canada to work for a few dollars a year as indentured farm and home help…Beryl Young makes a great start to the topic.”
“A warm, candid look back at the life of a man who struggled to secure a place for himself in the new world. Along with the author’s gentle and fluid narrative, the tome is seasoned with a smattering of sepa photographs of days gone by.”
Halifax Chronicle Herald
“[I] happily recommend Charlie for all readers between nine and eighty-five.”
Victoria Times Colonist
“…beautifully written, designed, and researched.”
Cape Breton Post
Beryl Young had impressive first-time success with her novel Wishing Star Summer (Raincoast 2001). The book was on the BC Children’s Bestseller list for 26 weeks, and was named an Our Choice book by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
Beryl is a member of the Federation of B.C. Writers, the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of B.C., the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable, and the Canadian Society of Authors, Illustrators, and Performers.
Key Porter World Rights 2009
A Home Child’s Life in Canada
In Charlie: A Home Child’s Life in Canada, bestselling author Beryl Young recounts her own father’s experiences as a Home Child, one of nearly 100,000 British children who were sent to Canada as indentured labourers between 1870 and 1938. Some were orphans, some had parents would could no longer afford to take care of them and all came to Canada for a chance at a new life.
Charlie Harvey was thirteen-years-old when his father died of pneumonia. Left with no money and faced with caring for seven children, his mother was forced to break up the family in order to keep her children alive.
Charlie travelled to London to live at Leopold House, one of the homes founded by Dr. Thomas Barnardo as a safe-haven for destitute children. From there, on the cusp of his fourteenth birthday, Charlie travelled with two hundred and sixteen other Bernardo’s Boys across the Atlantic to Canada where he would work as a farm labourer until his eighteenth birthday.
The passage was difficult, the work was hard, and the separation from family was heartbreaking, but these children made successful new lives in Canada.
Charlie Harvey went on to fight for Canada in WWI and eventually worked his way through the ranks of the Royal North-West Mounted Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Rich with archival material including letters and photographs, Charlie: A Home Child’s Life in Canada reveals, through one boy’s brave story, the journey of hundreds of thousands of children who came in Canada in search of a better life.
Nominated for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, the Chocolate Lily Award, and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award
Click here for Beryl’s website: http://berylyoung.com/