Peggy's Books

Laura Secord:Heroine of the War of 1812

After dragging her injured husband off the battlefield at Queenston Heights during the War of 1812, Laura Secord (1775–1868) was forced to billet American soldiers in her home while she nursed him back to health. It was during this time that she overheard the U.S. plan to ambush British troops at Beaver Dams.
Through an outstanding act of perseverance and courage in 1813, Laura walked an astonishing 30 kilometres from her home to the British outpost to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon. Despite facing rough terrain, the ever-present danger of being caught by American troops, and rather delicate encounters with Native forces, Laura reached FitzGibbon in time for the British to prepare and execute an ambush on the advancing American military, forcing the U.S. general to surrender.

Laura lived a very long time, dying at the age of 93. In her lifetime the government never formally recognized her singular feat of bravery, and some controversy still envelopes her legacy.

A Quest Biography Book
ISBN 978-1-45970-366-7

192 pages, Paperback. $19.99
Published in May, 2012
“… Leavey did all the right research about Laura Secord … bits about Secord are interesting and surprising … The writing is clear … the book is useful for those of us who remain unfamiliar with our own history.” – Toronto Star
“… Leavey provides a vivid picture of life for settlers in Upper Canada in the late 18th and 19th Century. This book is packed with detail but does not feel burdensome. It moves along briskly and provides a clear and compelling overview of the War of 1812.” – Country Roads Magazine

Mary Pickford: Canada’s Silent Siren, America’s Sweetheart
Interview about
Mary Pickford in
Defining Canada
Born in 1892 in Toronto, Mary Pickford made her stage debut at the age of eight, determined to provide for her fatherless family. After years of demoralizing road tours, and out of economic necessity, she went to work in the movies.
She was an actor, director, producer, film executive, one of the founders of United Artists and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—the most important woman in the history of motion pictures.
Mary Pickford’s ambition, passion, innate talent, and savvy business acumen sent her career into the stratosphere and set the blueprint for the modern movie star. Pickford was raised in a house on University Avenue in Toronto and began her acting career on the stage. However, her determination led her to the new world of motion pictures, where she not only revolutionized acting method but negotiated her own terms for the highest salary for any actress and complete creative control over her films.
Pickford co-founded United Artists in 1919 with Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin, which turned the existing studio system on its head. The actress’s subsequent marriage to Fairbanks incited a fan frenzy comparable to today’s obsession with couples like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Although Pickford’s star faded with the advent of talking pictures, she was the catalyst for the culture of Hollywood celebrity that enthralls us today.

A Quest Biography Book
ISBN 978-1-55488-945-7
192 pages, Paperback. $19.99
Published in September, 2011

“… true inspiration for young women, whether it be aspiring actors, building self-esteem, or for the ambitious soul in becoming motivated.” – Resource Links
“… a great read, not only about the life of Mary Pickford, but an inside look at the birth of the movie industry.” – World of
“… successfully uses imagined dialogue and quotations from Pickford's own memoirs to add zest to the narrative.” – CM Magazine
“… entertaining read about a great entertainer.” – Canada's History Magazine

Growing Up Ivy
This coming-of-age story is set in Toronto and rural Ontario during the Great Depression. Life is an every day struggle for twelve-year-old Ivy Chalmers and her mother, Frannie. They often resort to games of “let’s pretend” to get them through.
In 1931, Frannie, intent on making a name for herself on the New York City stage, sends Ivy to Larkin, Ontario to stay with her paternal grandmother, someone the girl has never met. 
When Ivy’s father, Alva, arrives unexpectedly, he turns out not to be the Prince Charming she imagined, but an illiterate peddler. Rescuing Ivy from her uncompromising grandmother, Alva takes her with him for the summer, wandering the countryside by horse-drawn caravan, selling shoes.
Interview about
Growing Up Ivy in
Defining Canada
Back at her grandmother’s, at summer’s end, Ivy meets teenager Charlie Bayliss, orphaned as an infant and raised by his aunt on a farm outside Larkin.
Ivy has a flair for writing and boundless imagination; Charlie loves baseball and loathes farming. Unknown to both of them, though, is a secret connection they share. When the final pieces of the puzzle of their lives fall into place, nothing will ever be the same.
“Ivy is a convincing character, strong though damaged, and depicted without sentimentality. The Depression-era setting is similarly convincing, crisp in its particulars.” – Quill & Quire
“Peggy Dymond Leavey has mastered the art of “showing” rather than “telling”. In the early part of Growing Up Ivy, actions speak louder than words, giving readers a subtle yet clear picture of Ivy Chalmers’s life with her mother, Frannie, in Depression-era Toronto.” 4 out of 4 stars – “Highly Recommended” – CM Magazine
ISBN 978-1-55488-723-1
Young Adult Historical Fiction. Paperback. $12.99
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;

Social Studies - Canadian Content, Canadian History - Toronto (Ont.), Depression-1930s-Ontario, actors & acting, peddlers;
Language Arts - Novel Study, Juvenile Fiction.
Friends & family, fathers & daughters, adolescence, family secrets, acceptance.

Molly Brant Mohawk Loyalist and Diplomat
This is a biography of Molly Brant and her role in the American Revolution.
Molly Brant was a Mohawk girl born into poverty in 1736. She became the consort of Sir William Johnson, one of the wealthiest white men in 18th-century America. Suspected of being a spy for the British during the American Revolution, Molly was forced to flee with her children or face imprisonment. Because of her ability to influence the Mohawks, her assistance was needed at Fort Niagara, and she found refuge there.
A respected Mohawk matron, Molly became a vital link between her people and the Canadian Indian Department. Like her brother Joseph, she worked hard to keep five of the Six Nations on the side of the British throughout the war, believing the empty promises that all would be restored to them once the conflict ended. Although she was seen as fractious and demanding at times, her remarkable stamina and courage gained the respect of the highest levels of Canadian government.
ISBN 978-1-45972-893-6
A Quest Biography $12.99
Social Studies - Canadian Content, Canadian History - Toronto (Ont.), Mohawk Indians during American Revolution;
Language Arts - Novel Study, Historical Biography.
History, Canadian and British reliance on Mohawk Indian Support.

Trouble at Turtle Narrows
A further adventure with the kids from Treasure at Turtle Lake.
After a rocky start to the summer in Turtle Narrows, things are beginning to turn around for 13 year old Joel Osler. He has a dog of his own now, a black Labrador retriever named Molly, and the family has just moved into the old Clifton House.
Dropping into his dad’s electronics shop one day, Joel overhears a stranger demanding money. Suddenly, it looks as if Dad’s financial troubles could mean losing the house and moving back to the tiny flat over the shop. If that happens, Joel won’t be able to keep his dog. With a For Sale sign already on the Clifton House, Joel is desperate for a solution.
On a fishing expedition into Algonquin Park, Joel and his friends, Paige and Matt, make a grisly discovery. When Joel’s dad becomes a suspect, Joel must take immediate action to prove his innocence.
“Trouble at Turtle Narrows is a fine novel for preteens, sure to entertain and encourage literacy.” – Midwest Book Review
ISBN 978-1-894917-71-1
Juvenile Fiction. Paperback. $9.95
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;

Social Studies - Canadian Content, Canadian History - Ottawa Valley (Ont.) - Lumber Industry, Caring for Animals, Volunteering;
Language Arts - Novel Study, Juvenile Fiction - Detective & Mystery Stories.
Friends & family, summer, adolescence, responsibility.

Treasure at Turtle Lake

Rather than face the consequences of his attempted shoplifting, twelve-year old Joel leaves his mother’s home in Toronto to live with his dad in Turtle Narrows, where he hopes to make a fresh start.
On his trip north, he meets a mysterious man who shows him a map. Could this map point the way to hidden treasure?
> Joel finds an unlikely ally in fiercely independent Paige, a new Grade Seven classmate. When Joel shows Paige the drawings he remembers from the map, the two team up to match wits against the man, hoping to discover the meaning of the three clues before he does.
“… Treasure at Turtle Lake is a fast-paced and an attention-grabbing read. This would be an excellent book for a reluctant reader. As the book is divided into bite-size chapters, the reader can decide to take it slowly or to keep reading ‘just one more chapter.’” – Lori Giles-Smith, Assistant Librarian at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg
ISBN 978-1-894917-49-0
Juvenile Fiction. Paperback. $9.95 Cdn
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;
Social Studies
 – Canadian Content, Family Breakdown, Shoplifting, Relationships (stepmother), Caring for Animals, Volunteering;
Language Arts – Novel Study, Juvenile Fiction - Detective & Mystery Stories.
Themes: Dealing with anger & resentment, admitting one’s mistakes, responsibility, learning to make new friends in a new place, school relationships, guilt & innocence, teamwork.

The Path Through the Trees
Having just moved to Toronto from the west coast, 13-year-old Norah Bingham and her mother, Ginny, plan to spend Christmas in the country, with an elderly relative, Caroline Stoppard, Norah’s great-aunt.
When Ginny gets called away on business, Norah has to go on her own to stay with Miss Stoppard, someone she has never even met.
From the start, the woman makes it plain that she does not welcome Norah’s company, nor that of Andrew and Becca, Norah’s cousins, who arrive two days later.
The isolated Stoppard mansion is as dismal as the Ontario winter. But the cousins discover there are puzzles to solve. Great-aunt Caroline has many secrets. Among them is the identity of the boy Norah sees in the backyard. Who is he? And why is he watching the house?
The Path Through the Trees was nominated for the 2007 Silver Birch Award, as well as the 2007 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award
ISBN 1894917219
Juvenile Fiction. Paperback. $8.95 Cdn.
Curriculum Links:Character Education;
Science & Technology
 - Birds & Birdfeeders;
Social Studies - Canadian Content, Relationships. Language Arts – Novel Studies, Juvenile Fiction - Ghost Stories, Juvenile Fiction-Christmas Stories, Juvenile Fiction - Family Stories.
Themes:Family relationships, cousins, winter.

The Deep End Gang
Twelve-year-old Martin Jessup, teller of tall tales and other untruths, cannot understand his sister’s objections to the family’s move from Winnipeg to small-town Ontario. With Dad in the military, moving is a fact of life.
Settling into his new home, Martin is intrigued by a deserted house across the street and by an unfriendly neighbour, who seems to be waiting for something to happen.
Martin and new friends Granger and Holly form a club that meets in the deep end of an empty swimming pool. The friends tell Martin that the deserted house is all that remains of the Govier estate and about an unsolved mystery--the disappearance years ago of Victor Govier.
One night, Martin sees a light in the deserted house. When the Deep End Gang goes to investigate, the kids discover an unlocked door leading into the cellar.
ISBN 092914189X
Juvenile fiction.  Paperback. $8.95 Cdn.
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;
Social Studies
 - Canadian Content, Military Families, Rural Communities;
Language Arts - Novel Study, Juvenile Fiction-Detective & Mystery Stories.
Moving, learning to make new friends in a new place, sisters, truth, acceptance.

Finding My Own Way
It’s an exciting time for seventeen-year-old Libby Eaton.  She has returned to the small town, where her mother had died a year earlier, to try to live alone in the old family home.  Libby finds life on her own is full of challenges, but there is a bright spot in the summer--the possibility of romance with Michael. Set in the 1950s when the term SEXUAL HARASSMENT was yet to be coined, one of the major themes in the book tells how Libby takes a brave stand against the unwanted attentions of her boss at the five-and-ten.
Finding My Own Way was an “Our Choice” selection by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
ISBN 0929141830
Young adult fiction.  Paperback. $8.95 Cdn.
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;
Science & Technolog
y (Applied Science) - Alcoholism;
Social Studies - Canadian Content, Journalists, Sexual Harassment, Employment, Urban & Rural Communities;
Language Arts - Novel Study, Juvenile Fiction-Historical-Russia (1917)-Royal Family - Anastasia.
Self-reliance, friendship, dealing with grief, life skills, adolescence, courage, perseverance.

Sky Lake Summer

When thirteen-year-old Jane Covington arrives at the family cottage on Sky Lake, she is happy to be back with her grandmother in the golden sunshine. But Jane soon happens upon a mysterious, seventy-year-old cry for help in the form of a letter. Aided by her fried Corrie and local boy Jess, Jane sets out to solve the mystery of a deadly fire and the long-ago disappearance of a young wife and mother.
Sky Lake Summer was an “Our Choice” selection by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, as well as being nominated for a Silver Birch Award in 2000. Other nominations include a Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award and a Tiny TORGI Audio Award in 2000.
ISBN 0929141644
Juvenile fiction.  Paperback. $7.95 Cdn.
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;
Social Studies
 - Canadian Content, Young Offenders;
Language Arts - Novel Study, Juvenile Fiction - Detective & Mystery Stories, Juvenile Fiction - Suspense Stories.
Summer (cottages), grandparent & child, family relationships, friendship, adolescence, acceptance. 

A Circle In Time

Who are the strangers Wren sees in the Mirror? And why are they appearing to her? Twelve-year old Wren Ferris thinks the mirror she found in the abandoned movie studio will make a good souvenir. Intrigued by the thought of the movie stars who might have gazed into that very mirror, she hangs it on her bedroom wall. Even after she sees the reflection of a strange man standing behind her. A man who isn’t really there ….
A Circle in Time was an “Our Choice” selection by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
ISBN 0929141555
Juvenile fiction.  Paperback. $6.95 Cdn.
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;
Social Studies
 - Canadian History - Trenton (Ont.) - Motion Picture Industry;
Language Arts - Novel Study, Juvenile Fiction - Historical, Juvenile Fiction - Time Travel, Juvenile Fiction - Christmas Stories.
Family relationships, twins, grandparents.

Help Wanted: Wednesdays Only

To Mark, the sign in the window had looked like the answer to a 13 year-olds prayers. In the end, it only made things worse. Moving to the East End to live with his grandfather had been bad enough. It had meant leaving his old friends and a perfectly good after-school job. But now, because of his illness, Grandpa Luigi was acting weirder every day. And the neighbourhood bully was threatening bodily injury if Mark set foot on his street.
Recommended reading by the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Help Wanted: Wednesdays Only was an “Our Choice” selection by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
ISBN 0929141237 English  ISBN 274272303X French (available through
Juvenile fiction.  Paperback. $6.95 Cdn.
Curriculum Links:
Character Education;
Science & Technology
 (Applied Science) - Alzheimer’s Disease;
Social Studies - Canadian Content, Urban Communities, Ethnic Communities, Grandparents (Italian);
Language Arts - Novel Study - Juvenile Fiction.
Responsibility, friends & family, school relationships, bullies, courage, compassion, respect, teamwork.
Available in French asUn Petit Boulot du Mercredi (ISBN 978-2-7427-2303-4) fromActes Sudand .

The Movie Years - Trenton, Ontario 1917-1934

Where in Canada’s history of filmmaking does the Trenton story fit? The very first films made in Canada were produced at the turn of the 20th century and were designed to attract British immigration to Canada.
In 1913 Canada’s first known feature film, “Evangeline,” was produced in Nova Scotia by the Canadian Bioscope Company of Halifax. That same year the British-American Film Company of Montreal produced “The Battle of Long Sault.”
About the time of the First World War Canada’s film making industry began to take off. Canadian newsreels were shown publicly, the production of feature films flourished and the Ontario government established its motion picture bureau.
It was in 1917 that a movie studio was opened at Trenton. Its significance lies in the fact that it was the only Canadian studio to continue in active service for more that just a year or two.
ISBN 092134130X - OUT OF PRINT - limited quantities available from the author. Please contact Peggy by email.
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Spirit of the Hills Anthology
This is an anthology of writings by Northumberland Hills writers
Hill Spirits Anthology introduces a sampling of the diverse range of writers and writing styles found in the Spirit of the Hills Writers Group. In Hill Spirits, you’ll find amusing slice-of-life stories, scary tales to share around the campfire and, in a quiet moment, poems for reflection
Peggy is one of 21 contributors to Hill Spirits, released in October, 2012. Peggy’s two entries are “Summer Sojourn” a prose piece, and a mystery short story titled “The Good Neighbour” .
ISBN: 978-0-9869528-6-9
BlueDenim Press Book
Social Studies - Canadian Content, Canadian Stories, Ontario writers
Language Arts - Short stories, Prose, and Poetry

Spirit of the Hills Anthology II
This is the second anthology of writings by Northumberland Hills writers
Hill Spirits Anthology II provides example of the writing styles and skills of the Spirit of the Hills Writers Group. In Hill Spirits II, you’ll find amusing slice-of-life stories, savvy short stories and terrific tales for youths.
Again Peggy is a contributors to Hill Spirits II, released in May 2015. Peggy’s entries are two short stories – “Crumbs” and “Night Song” – and an excerpt from a juvenile novel, “On Location”.
BlueDenim Press Book
Social Studies - Canadian Content, Canadian Stories, Ontario writers
Language Arts - Short stories, Prose, and Poetry