Anne Bishop reviews Through the elephant ears, by MJ Dominey, and she likes it a lot. “If you grew up in a small town, anywhere, but particularly in Cape Breton, and particularly on the wrong side of the tracks, Through the Elephant Ears will go straight to your heart. If you grew up elsewhere, it will open your heart to the scary and complicated path young women living in poverty must travel on the way to adulthood and how it sticks to them for life.”

There’s a very nice little book out about the coal miners’ (and steel workers’) fight against greedy and heartless corporations in early twentieth century Cape Breton. What’s especially great about it is that author Joanne Schwartz wrote it for kids, not the really young ones I guess, but say the 10 to 15 year olds. Nimbus, the publisher, suggests children as young as 7 may go for it.

“”Not all these characters are nice people, but they’re all going through interesting things, and so I just want to see the world through their eyes. It often leaves me with a different point of view on things, or a different way of thinking.” An interview with Chris Benjamin about his excellent short stories collection A Boy With a Problem.

A book about slavery in Nova Scotia, North to Bondage: Loyalist slavery in the Maritimes, by professor Harvey Amani Whitfield, shows how ownership of enslaved Blacks was widespread in the Maritime provinces, and a major contributor to its economic viability. In a way it’s an invitation for white Nova Scotians to start a serious conversation about reparations.

There’s a wonderful new book on the history or poor houses and poor farms in Nova Scotia, written by poverty activist and frequent NS Advocate contributor Brenda Thompson. Things are better now, of course, but in a way not much has changed for people who are very poor.