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Whispers of War: The War of 1812 Diary of Susanna Merritt is a historical fiction book written by Kit Pearson. It is the sixth book in Scholastic Canada's Dear Canada. It is also Pearson's sole entry in the series. The book was published in September 2002 with A Ribbon of Shining Steel. It was followed by Alone in an Untamed Land.


"For Ariel, Robin and Linnea, true readers all."

Book description[]

"11 May 1812
I wanted Abbie to come and see this journal, but when we stopped at her house her mother made her stay and do chores.
Every evening after supper I sit on my stool in the parlour. Tonight Mama and Maria and I sewed while Hamilton told us more stories about Kingston. Then he brought up the subject I dread. "Everyone believes there will be a war," he said. Mama covered her eyes. "Oh, please pray that there is not," she said.
All my life, it seems, I have listened to adults talk about war. Mama's older brother fought against the Rebels and was killed by them. Papa's brother was shot when he returned to New York after the war. Two uncles I will never know, all because of the war.
What if
my brother had to fight? I cannot bear the prospect.
It comforts me to be able to tell you my fears. What a great many pages I have written! I know I should not boast, but the black ink of my handwriting does look distinctive on these white pages.

"Le 11 mai 1812
Je voulais qu'Abbie vienne chez nous pour voir mon journal mais, quand nous nous sommes arrêtées chez elle, sa mère lui a donné des tâches à faire.
Tous les soirs, après le souper, je m'assois sur mon tabouret, au salon. Ce soir, maman, Maria et moi avons fait de la couture tandis que Hamilton nous racontait encore des histoires à propos de Kingston. Puis il a abordé le sujet que je craignais. « À Kingston, tout le monde pense qu'il y aura la guerre », a-t-il dit. Maman s'est couvert les yeux : « Oh! Faites que cela n'arrive pas! »
On dirait que, toute ma vie jusqu'à maintenant, j'ai écouté les adultes parler de la guerre. Le frère aîné de maman, Richard, a combattu les rebelles et il s'est fait tuer par eux. Le frère de papa a été abattu par des rebelles lorsqu'il est retourné à New York après la guerre. Deux oncles que je ne connaîtrai jamais, et tout cela à cause de la guerre.
Et si
mon frère était obligé d'aller se battre? Je ne supporte pas cette idée.
Cela me réconforte, de pouvoir te raconter mes craintes. J'ai déjà écrit plein de pages! Ce n'est pas pour me vanter, mais ma calligraphie à l'encre noire est très élégante sur ces pages blanches.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Whispers of War characters


Main article: Kit Pearson



  • Resource Links, Best of the Year (2002) - commended[6]
  • Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice (2003) - commended[6]
  • Chocolate Lily Book Award, BC Children's Choice (2004) - short-listed[6]


"Thanks to Barbara Hehner for her careful checking of the manuscript; to David Webb, Chief of Heritage Presentation, Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada; and to Susan Noakes of the Welland Historical Museum, for sharing their historical expertise."


  • The portrait on the cover is a detail from William-Adolphe Bouguereau's 1882 painting The Little Knitter. The background is a detail from John David Kelly's 1896 painting The Battle of Queenston Heights.[7][8][9]


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[]