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Saara's Passage

I picked up my pencil and stared at the blank white space. Setting a few goals should be easy. But I couldn't think of any. All that swirled through my mind was the question I'd been plagued with since I survived the Empress: "What is the purpose of my life?"

Saara is trying hard to put her horrible experience aboard the doomed Empress of Ireland behind her. She goes to school, roller skates with her best friend, and enjoys her new baby cousin. And she is so looking forward to starring in the school play! But nightmares—and unanswerable questions—continue to disturb her. War is declared, and the future of the whole world looks uncertain. Then her family is struck with another heavy blow: tuberculosis. Saara's beloved Aunt Marja must go to the sanatorium in Toronto. Who will care for baby Sanni? In this sequel to Second Watch, 12-year-old Finnish-Canadian Saara Mäki continues her passage, not across the Atlantic, but through the shoals and storms of growing up. Set in northwestern Ontario at the beginning of the 20th century, her story is Canada's story, as both take up responsibilities handed to them by circumstance and history.

Important places

North Branch (1)
Thunder Bay (32)
Toronto (928)


Ontario (2,314)


Canada (8,082)

Other geographical areas

Canadian Shield (805)
Central Lowlands (North America) (1,334)
Central Canada (3,035)