A new series which aims to expose young readers the lives of interesting

Canadians who have changed the world for the better


Believing in Books: The Story of Lillian Smith

by Sydell Waxman

Winner of the Frances Russell Award from the International Board on Books for Young People for outstanding research in children's literature!

"This easy to read biography will be read with interest by those involved in children's libraries and librarianship...the author's enthusiasm for the life and achievements of Miss Smith is very apparent in her writing and research." -Canadian Materials

"...recorded in a concise, engaging manner...At the heart of Waxman's story is Smith's passionate, innovative approach to sharing books with children...Again and again, Smith's sense of urgency, her respect for her young clientele, rings through...The book's many anecdotes, quotations, photos and drawings convey this vividly, demonstrating the transforming power and sheer fun children gain from exposure to books of all kinds...this is a spirited, fascinating tribute." -The Toronto Star

Have you ever read a book that you couldn't put down? Has that book taken you to other countries, to other centuries? Have you found yourself brimming with excitement, exclaiming to all who will listen, "Read this book!" This biography is the story of a child who took her love of childrens' books and found a way to share it with the world as she grew up. Her voice would be the first to carry the message of childrens' right to read across the world. It is not too much to say that she started a revolution for children's books in her career as the first children's librarian in the British Commonwealth.

ISBN 978-0929141-77-0 / Ages 9-12 / Hardcover / Illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 96 pp. / $18.95 CDN, $14.95 U.S.

Caring for a Colony: The Story of Jeanne Mance

by Joanna Emery

This is a story of pioneering courage and compassion in the New World. Jeanne dreamed of devoting her life to caring for others. In 1641, she courageously gave up her comfortable middle-class life in France to journey to the French colonies, today's province of Quebec. In overcoming incredible hardships, massacres, illness, deprivation and seven gruelling trips across the ocean, Jeanne proved to be a remarkable leader. She ended up founding the first hospital in Montreal as well as being a pioneer and founder of the city of Montreal.

ISBN 978-1894917-07-0 /Ages 9-12 / Hardcover / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 72 pp. / $18.95 CDN, $16.95 U.S.

Changing the Pattern: The Story of Emily Stowe

by Sydell Waxman

Winner of a Heritage Toronto Award of Merit!

When Emily Stowe was born in Ontario in 1831, every girl's life followed a set pattern. Regardless of her personality, intelligence, capabilities or creativity, her future was limited to housework and childcare. Emily Stowe was determined to change that pattern. Sydell Waxman, a writer, researcher and lecturer on women of the 1800s, tells of the events in the life of the young Emily Stowe which caused her to become, not only the first woman school principal and the first woman to practise medicine in Canada, but a pioneer in the fight for women's rights. With the help of original sketches and archival material, Changing the Pattern also creates a vivid picture of Canada in the late 1800s as it follows Emily's crusade to create new patterns for girls' lives.

Ages 9-12 / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 72 pp. / two-colour / 32 sketches plus archival material

Hardcover: ISBN 978-0929141-43-5 / $18.95 CDN, $14.95 U.S.

Softcover: ISBN 978-0929141-39-8 / $13.95 CDN, $11.95 U.S.

Discovering the Arctic: The Story of John Rae

by John Wilson

Shortlisted for a 2004 Norma Fleck Award for childrens' nonfiction!

"This alternative view of Arctic exploration is refreshing, readable, engaging in its content- and brings readers what history books should, the invitation to question." -The Toronto Star

Discovering the Arctic is an exciting recounting of the life of a 19th century doctor and explorer who worked for the Hudson's Bay Company and opened up vast tracts of land in the Canadian Arctic and may have been the true discoverer of the Northwest Passage. Rae discovered the fate of the failed Franklin Expedition and evidence of cannibalism on the bones he found, but he was disgraced by a slanderous campaign against his name, which resulted in a century of subsequent obscurity. Rae was one of the first Europeans to show respect for Inuit customs and to take inspiration from their Arctic survival skills. John Wilson brings this fascinating man and his times to life in an exciting narrative full of survival stories, shipwrecks and scandals. The book is illustrated with sketches, maps and archival photos.

ISBN 978--0929141-88-6 /Ages 9-12 / hardcover / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 80 pp. / $18.95 Cdn., $14.95 U.S.

Making it Home: The Story of Catharine Parr Traill

by Lynn Westerhout

Winner of the Frances Russell Award from the International Board on Books for Young People for outstanding research in children's literature!

"An impressive addition to any school or community library collection, Making it Home is an inspiring biography..." - Children's Bookwatch

"...Making It Home serves as a wonderful introduction to the life of one of Canada's heroines..." - Canadian Children's Book News

"The book is well written, organized and quite detailed. It not only gives a comprehensive look at Catherine Parr Traill's life and work, but also gives much insight into the pioneering life of Ontario during the 1800s." - Resource Links

As a pioneer in Canada in the early 1800s, Catharine Parr Traill was one of the first writers to record the Ontario wilderness in literary and scientific detail, and her stories for young people became part of a new focus on young people. Her books on emigration encouraged other pioneers who struggled with life in a new country.

Catharine was a natural storyteller who loved to write. As an adult in Canada, she wrote while she was hungry and fearful for her family's safety. Her life was one of hardship and adventure, but also of great joy. This biography shows how an English girl called Katie became an adult who gave so much to North America's early literature.

ISBN 978-0929141-90-9 /Ages 9-12 / Hardcover / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 80 pp. / $18.95 CDN, $16.95 U.S.

Righting Wrongs: The Story of Norman Bethune

by John Wilson

Shortlisted for a Norma Fleck Award for childrens' nonfiction!

"Without a doubt, Righting Wrongs...is worth its $18.95 price tag. The biography's relevance for Canadians, its extensive use of photos from Canada’s National Archives, its timeline of Bethune's life, and its list of pertinent web sites all contribute to its value...one hopes that there will be many more such offerings from Napoleon Publishing." -Canadian Materials

"Norman Bethune's passions and peccadilloes come across clearly in this honest, accesible account of his eventful and still influential work. Wilson engages readers with an inherently interesting narrative, and at the same time invites them to think critically about their own heritage - then and now." -Fleck Award Jury

"Children reading this will gain a new critical awareness of the positive value of features of their own culture...clear, straight-forward writing and one-page 'chapters' make this particularly accesssible to younger readers." -The Toronto Star

Norman Bethune was a doctor who devoted his life to helping others and whose story is a remarkable one, cut short by his early death in China in 1938. This biography in our Stories of Canada series traces his life from his childhood spent moving around Ontario as a preacher's son to his experiences in the First World War and his crusades to find a cure for tuberculosis and to promote health care in Canada. But Bethune is most famous for the time he spent fighting Fascism through his profession of healing in Spain and China during the late 1930s. His story inspires us to believe that we can change the world through our actions.

ISBN 978-0929141-71-8 /Ages 9-12 / Hardcover / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 72 pp. / $18.95 CDN, $14.95 U.S.

Singing Towards the Future: The Story of Portia White

by lian goodall

"Another in Napoleon Publishing's excellent series, Stories of Canada...Alongside her compelling biography of White, goodall presents a chilling picture of the systemic racism that pervaded Canada during Portia's formative years, an impediment to human and social development that makes her achievements all the more extraordinary." -The Globe and Mail

"This slim book with, lots of photos, drawings and insights, gives a vivid sketch of life in Halifax in the early 1900s with acts of kindness undermined by the harsh reality of lingering segregation." - Canadian Press

"This is a warm and loving biography of a talented woman who deserves to be known by readers of all ages." - Canadian Children's Book News

Portia White, born in 1911, had a dream: to sing on stage. Even as a little girl in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she could imagine an audience before her, clapping as she took her bow. But how could a poor girl growing up in a family with ten siblings make that dream come true? At that time, there were few opera roles available for black singers. To become a recital singer, she would have to go to Europe to study. How could she ever afford that? But Portia was not only a talented contralto, she was determined. With the support of her family and community, she eventually climbed onto stages across Canada, the United States, and Central and South America in the late 1930s and early 1940s. She crossed the colour barrier to enter concert halls and sing before white and black audiences on both continents. Later, she became a teacher and mentor of other well-known and successful singers.

When Portia White died in 1968, she left a legacy of living to her belief that "first you dream and then you lace up your boots."

ISBN 978-1894917-55-1 /Ages 9-12 / Softcover / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 88 pp. / $16.95 CDN, $14.95 U.S.

Struggling for Perfection: The Story of Glenn Gould

by Vladimir Konieczny

Shortlisted for BC's Red Cedar Award! Now available in softcover!

"...Napoleon's latest title in its Stories of Canada series exceeds all expectations... The lively prose...divided into digestible one- and two-page units, brings Gould vividly to life... Beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated...this book is a treasure." -Quill and Quire

"This is a well-written book, enhanced by many black and white photographs and drawings. It chronicles the career of Gould in very readable style." -Resource Links

"This intersting biography gives the reader insight into Gould's amazing talent as well as his celebrated eccentricities." - Canadian Children's Book News

Struggling for Perfection is the story of the famous pianist, an enigmatic figure who made some of the most acclaimed classical recordings of the last century. A former child prodigy and an unpredictable, passionate man, Glenn Gould was known as much for his eccentricities as his vast musical genius. After retiring prematurely from performing, Gould branched out into work in film and radio and helped bring classical music recording technology into a new age. He has became a national icon in Canada. Vladimir Konieczny delivers a sensitive and affectionate portrait of this imposing figure in music history. The book is illustrated with sketches and archival photos.

Ages 9-12 / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 104 pp.

Softcover / ISBN 978-1894917-48-3 / $16.95 CDN, $14.95 U.S.

Mapping the Wilderness: The Story of David Thompson

by Tom Shardlow

David Thompson’s story is one of the great tales of North American adventure. His life was a mixture of truth and legend, but he was without a doubt one of the greatest surveyors and mapmakers of the North American continent. Raised in a charity school in London, England, and apprenticed to the Hudson’s Bay Company as a teenager, he then travelled extensively, recording valuable navigational information. His life was one of adventure and hardship but also of incredible accomplishment.

ISBN 978-0929141-85-5 /Ages 9-12 / Hardcover / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 72 pp. / $18.95 CDN, $16.95 U.S.

Sailing for Glory: The Story of Captain Angus Walters

Shortlisted for the Hackmatack Award

by Teri-Lynn Janveau and Allister Thompson

This book tells the story of the unique bond between Captain Walters and his schooner the Bluenose. The ship is a Canadian icon and an icon of nautical competition, unbeaten between 1921 and 1939 in the races for the International Fisherman’s Cup. Its success galvanized a young nation’s national pride, and the ship remains an important symbol in Nova Scotia today. Walters’ skill and devotion to his ship helped the Bluenose hold off all challengers, even at the end of its illustrious career. Sailing for Glory also brings to life the danger and adventure of the life of a North Atlantic fisherman in the days of sail.

ISBN 978-1894917-09-4 /Ages 9-12 / Hardcover / illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4" x 9 1/2" / 72 pp. / $18.95 CDN, $16.95 U.S.

Photographing Greatness: The Story of Karsh

by lian goodall

Yousuf Karsh emigrated to North America from Turkey in the 1920s, eventually settling in Ottawa. An early interest in photography inspired him to open his own studio. As he became known for the quality of his work, Karsh's close proximity to powerful leaders in Ottawa led to commissions of portraits of politicians. He became known as the worlds' finest portrait photographer for his gift of drawing out and capturing a subject's character in a photograph. Over a seventy plus year career, Karsh photographed many famous musicians, artists, actors, captains of industry and politlcians. He was also a humanitarian who worked with sick children. This is the first children's biography of the man who immortalized the makers of history.

ISBN 978-1-894917-34-6 / Ages 9-12 /Hardcover/ illustrated / two-colour / 8 1/4” x 9 1/2” / 96 pp. / $20.95 CDN, $19.95 U.S.

Desperate Glory: The Story of WW I

by John Wilson

This book presents the story and issues of the first world war in a clear, concise and objective manner, accompanied on every page by photographs, original sketches or maps. Focussing on social as well as political issues with a Canadian perspective, Wilson presents the issues of the war with depth and compassion. This book will be a very useful tool for educators in explaining the hows and whys of this most important period.

ISBN 978-1-894917-81-0 / Ages 11+ / hardcover / photos / 8 1/4” x 9 1/2” / 96 pp. / $16.95 in Canada and the U.S.
ISBN 978-1-894917-42-1 (hardcover)/ $18.95

Bitter Ashes: The Story of WW II

by John Wilson

World War Two was the greatest conflict in human history. It gave birth to the Atomic Age, the Cold War and the economic boom of the 1950s and 60s, and planted the seeds of today's Middle East crises. But it is not distant history. Most Canadians have relatives who were part of this world-wide tragedy. Bitter Ashes puts these events in context for them.

This book in the illustrated historical series Stories of Canada is a companion to Desperate Glory: The Story of WWI. A clear and concise text leads the reader though the major military and political events and issues of the war. Sidebars add detail and a personal element. Every page is illustrated with either photographs or maps.

ISBN 978-1-894917-90-2 / Ages 11+ / hardcover / photos / 8 1/4” x 9 1/2” / 96 pp. / $20.95 in Canada and the U.S.

Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson

by Rona Arato

Josiah Henson’s life is an epic tale of one man’s battle against evil and ignorance. By the time he was six, Josiah had been sold three times. When he was nine, his family’s owner beat him for trying to learn to read. In spite of his physical pain and emotional heartache, he never lost the sense of morality that was his bedrock. After his escape, Josiah became an advocate for those still in bondage. As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, he led 118 slaves to safety in Canada. Working for Freedom is the story of a man who proved that one person can make a difference in defending and promoting human rights.

ISBN 978-1-894917-50-6 / Ages 10+ / Hardtcover / illustrated / 8 1/4” x 9 1/2” / 88 pp. / $18.95 in Canada and the U.S.