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The Bury Road Girls - Tales from the Bruce Peninsula

Donna Jansen
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Life on a small farm on the Bruce Peninsula
Life on a small farm on the Bruce Peninsula

Life on a small farm on the Bruce Peninsula is full of adventures and ups and downs. Debbie and her sisters learn how to live happily together by discovering certain truths- Mom has eyes in the back of her head, never tattle-tale, sing loudly even if you can’t carry a tune, and have faith.

Family Adventures
Family Adventures

Debbie is the fifth child in a family of all girls – seven of them! The stories take place during the 1950s and 60s and are about how the family engages in the challenges of living and working together. In the first book, eight-year-old Debbie learns how to drive a tractor, build a load of hay, and comes face-to-face with a rattlesnake. In the sequel, Debbie is ten. She gets lost in the bush, is frightened by runaway horses, travels to Lion’s Head, Owen Sound and Wiarton, with her family, on ordinary trips that turn into adventures. Through these events, Debbie learns what is important.

The Rattlesnake
The Rattlesnake

The rattlesnake story, from Book 1, is a favourite and it’s true! Here is an excerpt:

“Debbie was daydreaming and not really paying attention as she rolled the next bale over. Her heart started thumping as she saw what was curled up underneath it, not more than a foot away from her – a big fat rattlesnake. It started rattling its tail, and Debbie froze with fear...”

A Local Story, A Local Author
A Local Story, A Local Author

Donna Jansen is a children’s author who grew up on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula during the 50s and 60s and her stories are mostly autobiographical. She started writing because of the fascination of her grandchildren with her stories. The second book was inspired by her grandchildren too, but also by the hundreds of children she met at schools, libraries, fairs, and museums where she does readings. Donna is thrilled by the interest and devotion of her young fans and adults too, especially those who were connected to the land and shared memories of a simpler time. Children are encouraged to put down their devices and read about a mostly happy family growing up on a small farm with little money. 

Where to pick up the book
Where to pick up the book

The books are classified as Canadian historical fiction by Amazon and can be purchased there. They are also available at the following fabulous shops in Grey Bruce – Aunt Donkeys in Lion’s Head; Berford Street Bookstore and McKenzie’s Pharmacy in Wiarton; Lawson’s in Owen Sound: Grey Roots Museum in Owen Sound; Bruce County Museum in Southampton and Stuff to Read in Meaford.

Keep up to date with Donna’s Facebook page The Bury Road Girls

Get out and Explore!
Get out and Explore!

Explore the Peninsula and try to find these little destinations that are described in the book:

Forty Hills, Sandy Beach (Old Woman’s River), Spry and The Bury Road – all spots Debbie and her sisters frequented for school, swimming, farming and play.

(Image is of Donna's grandaughter walking down the very road she grew up on).