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Prisoners in the Promised Land: The Ukrainian Internment Diary of Anya Soloniuk is the twentieth book in Scholastic's Dear Canada series. The book was written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and is her sole entry in the series. It was published in October 2007 and followed by Days of Toil and Tears by Sarah Ellis.


"This book is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, George Forchuk (Yurij Feschuk), who was interned at Jasper Internment Camp, Alberta, during World War I. Dido, you are not forgotten."

Book description[]

"Saturday, March 20, 1915
Dear Diary,
Every time I think it can't get worse, it does. Ten Canadians have been killed in battle, and three Allied warships have sunk. Canadians are angry as bees and they are taking it out on us. Tato, Stefan and Mr. Pemlych have all been sent to northern Quebec. I heard that it is very cold up there and that there are wild animals that eat people.
What did we do to deserve this? Didn't they ask us to come here in the first place? If the Canadian government didn't want us, why did they encourage us to come?

"Samedi 20 mars 1915
Cher journal,
Chaque fois que je me dis que les choses ne pourraient pas être pires, on dirait que je me trompe. Dix Canadiens sont morts au combat et trois navires alliés ont été coulés. Les Canadiens son fous de rage et ils s'en prennent à nous. Tato, Stefan et M. Pemlych ont été envoyés, tous les trois, dans le nord du Québec. J'ai entendu dire qu'il faisait très froid là-bas et qu'il y avait des bêtes sauvages qui mangeaient les gens.
Qu'est-ce que nous avons fait pour mériter ça? C'est le Canada qui nous a demandé de venir ici, non? Si le gouvernement canadien ne voulait pa de nous, pourquoi nous a-t-il encouragés à venir?



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Prisoners in the Promised Land characters


Main article: Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch



  • Resource Links, Best of the Year (2007) - commended[6]
  • OLA Best Bets (2007) - commended[6]


"The publisher wishes to thank Barbara Hehner for her careful fact-checking of the manuscript, and Sophia Kachor for checking the spelling and translation of Ukrainian words and terms. We are indebted to Orest Martynowych, author of Ukrainians in Canada: The Formative Years, 1891–1924. His detailed observations in vetting the manuscript were always helpful, even in sections where we opted to reflect a different interpretation of the events. We also thank Dr. Frances Swyripa, author of Wedded to the Cause: Ukrainian-Canadian Women and Ethnic Identity 1891–1991 and Ukrainian Canadians, and co-author of Loyalties in Conflict: Ukrainians in Canada during the Great War, for vetting the Historical Note."
"Many thanks to the following people who supplied me with precious tidbits of information: Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, Yurij Luvovy, Zorianna Hrycenko-Luhova, Peter Melnycky, Sandra Semchuk, Brenda Christian, Andrea Malysh, Maria Rypan, Ghyslain Drolet, Myron Momryk, Margriet Ruurs, Dr. Desmond Morton, Olga Temko, Walter Kowal D.D.S., Olga Kowal, Mary Moroska, Orysia Tracz, Connie Bilinsky, Linda Mikolayenko, Larry Warwaruk, Danny Evanishen, Paulette MacQuarrie, Dr. Denys Hlinka, Gerry Kokodyniak, Roman Zakaluzny, Orest Martynowych, Dr. Frances Swyripa, Orest Skrypuch M.D., and Dorothy Forchuk.
Sincere thanks to all of the fine "Private Kidcri" participants in Compuserve's Books and Writers Community.
Huge thanks and appreciation to Sandy Bogart Johnston, editor extraordinaire, and to Diane Kerner for all of her help and support, and – as always – to my agent, Dean Cooke, who makes all things possible.


  • The portrait on the cover is a photograph labelled Young Galician immigrant holding envelope labelled "Red Star Line" Saint John, New Brunswick, May 1905. The background is a photograph labelled Officer standing at train station with gun resting on his shoulder, watching as train approaches the station. Both photographs are from the Library and Archives Canada.[7][8]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]