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Listen to the Child Paperback – 26 Oct 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hookline Books (26 Oct. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0993287484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993287480
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,039,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Book club comments: "I was drawn in straight away." "I cared so much about what happened to these children." "I knew nothing about this and loved how it told both sides."

About the Author

Elizabeth Howard is a former history teacher. This is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Based on the true story of the Home Children, a child migration scheme under which poor and orphaned British children were shipped to Canada to work for families on farms or as housemaids, this is the fictional story of six of these children.
Starting in London's overcrowded East End in 1875, Elizabeth Howard describes vividly the dire conditions in which the children's families struggle to survive. The opportunity to send a child to Canada, which Christian charity workers proclaimed to be the land of plentiful, "the paradise", is a tempting opportunity to give children a chance at a future. But as the story follows the children's journey to Canada and their dispersal among Canadian families, the reality is often much harsher.
Historical fiction is a genre that I only pick up occasionally, but I was really intrigued by the book's premise because I didn't know the first thing about this very extensive program. The book is well written and seems very well researched (I actually looked up more information about the Home Children after reading this). It was fascinating reading, but I wouldn't go as far as saying that I 'enjoyed' it because I found the subject matter incredibly sad. There's little humour in this. I also really disliked Constance, a young charity worker, who prepares and accompanies the children to Canada. Her attitude and reasoning were infuriating at times.
However, Elizabeth Howard portrayed all the characters, including the children, in a very credible manner. Their behaviour and their thoughts were completely believable. It took a little while to get fully invested, as there was a lot of switching about at the beginning when the characters were introduced. Once the small group of children was established, it turned into a heart-wrenching story as it became clear that the advice to 'Listen to the Child' was unfortunately not often followed.
Well worth reading, but keep tissues close by.
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Format: Paperback
Listen to the Child

What did I think of this Novel? To be honest I didn’t know how I would fare with such a miserable subject but I have to say I really enjoyed it and I have found all the details of Victorian inner city London, fascinating.
Elizabeth Howard is very good at invoking a sense of place and time and this carried right throughout the book.
I was drawn in by the variety of characters and their stories and their hopes that should in a fair world have been fulfilled but in many cases were not. It also showed us that not all things done in the name of religion are good

If you are interested in history of everyday folk or just want a gripping read, try
‘Listen to the Child.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written and poignant read which is very well researched. Although I had knowledge of conditions in Victorian London I had no knowledge of the movement of children to Canada. The various settings were described with great skill and really drew me in as did the large cast of well drawn characters. I felt the suffering that both the adults and the children endured and my heart ached for them. Howard lists one of her sources as 'a worthy read' - for me those words echo her book. ,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poignant!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the Children 9 May 2017
By Lennette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Listen to the Child by Elizabeth Howard is a very thought provoking book that centers on the poor children trying to survive the streets of London’s East End. They often turn to thievery, prostitution, and begging—most with parental consent and all without hope of a better life. Constance is a young Christian woman with a passion for helping these children by giving of herself to help run the Home of Industry, an orphanage that provides a healthy work environment for children while also providing basic education and spiritual guidance. There are more children than the orphanage can help, so when Annie McPherson, the orphanage’s founder, comes up with the perfect solution, just about everyone agrees that the idea, though unorthodox, just may work. The plan is to send the misfortunate children with no hope for a future to Canada where Christian families agree to send them to school and church while providing a great new life of opportunity. Constance’s mother voices objections but no one will stand with her. So begins the voyage of groups of 100 British children from London to Canada. As long as any perspective home had a letter of recommendation from the local pastor; agreed to the children going to school and church; and promised to provide a warm and loving home; they were approved to receive one or more of these trusting young souls to help with farming or house work. Unfortunately a letter and a promise could not guarantee the true intent of some of these people and many of the children found themselves in situations worse than the ones they left. The intent was pure but the follow-up was grossly inadequate. Home visits did not happen as they were supposed to and even when a visit occurred, no one took the time to privately speak to the children! A couple of them did speak of horrible treatment and living conditions after running away or being returned, but no one listened. Only after personal tragedy strikes Constance does she realize that she was negligent in caring for the children that she promised to keep safe. This book made me think and when I found out that it was based on true events, it broke my heart. I plan to research the topic further and I implore everyone to read this book. If nothing else it will make you stop and realize that we do need to listen to our children.
4.0 out of 5 stars ... book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it, althoug it was heartbreaking at times 21 Jun. 2017
By Serrin. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Listen to the Child by Elizabeth Howard is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it, althoug it was heartbreaking at times.

It's 1875 and London's East End hurls with youngsters who fill in as whores, peddlers, poor people and cheats. Constance saves the greatest number of as she can, yet there is just so much she and others can do. At that point an answer is offered that sounds culminate – Canada, with its wide green fields, has ranchers who require help, while their spouses need housemaids. Delivering youngsters to this place that is known for bounty offers them a future a long way from the enticements of London's stuffed lanes. Dowager Mary Trupper is attentive, yet the guarantee of good nourishment and an instruction for her kids is solid. Are the fields green? Is the sustenance copious? For a few, yes. For others, the unforgiving winters mirror the welcome.

This is a magnificently composed well recounted tale around a couple of English vagrants migration to Canada in the late 1800's. The book is extraordinarily engaging as one can nearly notice the lanes and feel the hard scrabble life of London amid that day and age and the considerable differentiation that agrarian Canada was to that. The characters are exceptionally very much characterized particularly the kids named Beryl and Lawrence and also their righteous grown-up impermanent guardian, Constance.
The hardships the greater part of the vagrants are made to persist are painful to the point that they turned out to be excessively to hold up under now and again.

This is a flat out tragic story of how shocking these kids were once treated in first world nations which are something that can even now occur in our reality however in many ranges not to this degree. Tragically, it depends on genuine occasions and still is an issue which can be found the world over today in undeveloped nations.

Elizabeth Howard depicted every one of the characters, including the youngsters, in an exceptionally valid way. Their conduct and their musings were totally acceptable. It took a short time to get completely contributed, as there was a great deal of exchanging about toward the starting when the characters were presented.
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, But Heartbreaking 20 Jun. 2017
By Andris Mitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellently written well told story about a few English orphans emigration to Canada in the late 1800's. The book is exceptionally descriptive as one can almost smell the streets and feel the hard scrabble life of London during that time period and the great contrast that agrarian Canada was to that. The characters are very well defined especially the children named Beryl and Lawrence as well as their saintly adult temporary caretaker, Constance. Furthermore, the book is technically proficient as it has top notch prose. Finally, being a native of Ontario, I found the depiction of Canada to be extremely interesting and a little different from the country I know so well.
I 'm not certain if you could call this a flaw, but the book is heartbreakingly sad. The trials and tribulations all of the orphans are made to endure are so painful that they became too much to bear at times. Maybe that is accurate historically, so the author deserves credit for getting it so right, but it was still difficult to read and made me finish the book quickly.
Therefore, if you like historical novels, are a fan of Oliver Twist or My Antonia,are interested in delving into the worlds of the United Kingdom and Canada in the late 1880s you may like this book. But, be prepared you are in for a sad and difficult journey.
4.0 out of 5 stars A horrifying piece of historical fiction based on terrible facts that you won't be able to put down 24 May 2017
By Stuart C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Howard takes us into the realm of historical fiction in 'Listen to the Child' where we are transported back to 1875 and straight into London's East End where children aren't held quite as sacred by society as they are today. This is an era where kids ended up as beggars, thieves, and even prostitutes.

The book follows Constance who is a young woman who is spending her life trying to help these children. The Home of Industry which is the orphanage that she works for plans to send a large group of these children, 100 to be exact, to Canada where they've been promised new lives.

Sounds good, only, the lives they found themselves in were split between families who were trying to help them or those who put the children into even worse situations.

This is an absolute heart-wrenching tale of how horrible these children were once treated in first world countries which are something that can still happen in our world though in most areas not to this extent. Sadly, it is based on true events and still is a problem which can be found around the world today in undeveloped countries.
3.0 out of 5 stars ... to the Child” by Elizabeth Howard is a very sad story about British children who are brought to Canada ... 17 April 2017
By chesirecat20 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Listen to the Child” by Elizabeth Howard is a very sad story about British children who are brought to Canada for a better life. According to the note at the end of the book, this is based on historical facts. In theory, taking poor children off the streets to bring them to an Eden-like country where they will learn to work hard, get good food, schooling and a Christian education. Of course, reality does not live up to the expectations of the children, the Christian workers and the homesteaders. While the main story is with the children, Howard does bring the reader back to the families that are left behind to see their reactions to sending their children away. I do think that the main character, Miss Constance, who starts the book very naive and very sheltered. She thinks that she is doing the very best thing for these children and their families. By the end of the book, she realizes how wrong she is. The pacing is a little slow, but it is a very good story, very well told. Fans of historical fiction would enjoy this, however it can be a little heavy handed with the religious elements.
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