Biography / Autobiography

Aggie's Storms

By Donna Mann

Aggie's Storms cover

As a young girl walking along a country road to school in Grey County, Ontario, she dreamed of teaching children like her sisters and their friends. Family, classmates, and neighbours knew Aggie as a determined, clever, fair-minded girl who spoke her mind.

None of them knew that, one day, the people of her community would elect her, Agnes Macphail, Canada's first woman Member of Parliament.

by Donna Mann

"There'll be lots of storms in life, you just have to pick the ones you're going to venture into," Grandma Campbell told her.

Aggie's Storms takes readers back to 1900, when ten-year-old Aggie lived in a log cabin in the Queen's Bush. Follow her schooldays at SS #4, Proton Township, her work in the family's garden and home, and her challenges as a girl with a dream. The author of two books for adults and many articles in newspapers, Donna Mann has led the movement to mark sites important in the life of Agnes Macphail.

136 pages, softcover, full-colour cover
$15.00 in Canada
ISBN 978-1-896922-37-9

Aggie's Dream

Agnes Macphail in High School
By Donna Mann

Aggie's Dream cover

Aggie's years at Owen Sound Collegiate: classes, debates, friendships. Can you imagine her excitement when she entered the grand assembly hall where debaters and orators shared the stage?

This new book shows Agnes Macphail's determination not to let town ways intimidate her as she moved closer to her dream of teacher training. By doing well academically, playing basketball, and taking part in the Literary Society, she proved she could do anything she set her mind and heart to.


194 pages
$20.00 in Canada
ISBN 978-1-896922-46-1

Aggie's Voice

Agnes Macphail in Stratford
By Donna Mann
Agnes Macphail's Story Continues

Aggie's Voicecover

In 1908, knowing that women teachers faced restrictions and unequal pay, Agnes Macphail lived her determination. At Stratford Collegiate, she told fellow students, "I believe that one's ability, attitude and natural gifts dictate a direction a student should go." To Aunt Maggie, whose home she shared while attending Stratford Normal School, Agnes declared, "I want to be the best teacher I can be."

This book follows Agnes through practice teaching, promenades with her beau, and her growing awareness of society's problems. . .and her commitment to become a strong voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Donna Mann's has recreated Agnes Macphail's childhood in Aggie's Storms and her Owen Sound years in Aggie's Dream. Now, Aggie's Voice completes the series.

Donna Mann says, "This trilogy is for young minds and the young-at-heart who want to learn about or remember Agnes Macphail."

Cover design by Irv Mills C&I Graphics. Images courtesy of Grey Roots and Stratford-Perth Archives.

178 pages softcover
 $20.00 in Canada
 ISBN 978-1-896922-57-7

Beloved Muskoka

Diaries & Recollections of Elizabeth Penson
By Joan E. McHugh

Beloved Muskoka cover

Elizabeth Penson (1884 - 1974) described herself as a Science teacher with a tendency to dream.

In her ninetieth year, living with her grand-niece, Elizabeth Penson rediscovered her journals from the early decades of the 1900s. Reading them allowed her to recall her youth, her passion for studies, time teaching in Saskatchewan, and years pioneering as a female in high school science labs. Backgrounding all: a romantic story set in the District of Muskoka, where she delighted in family summers and eventually retired.

. . .memories, a vast sea of them, seem to lift me on a rising swell and whisper to me in the trough as I close my eyes. I am floating away through childhood memories of long ago.

Joan McHugh has drawn on her great aunt's diaries and recollections to introduce a complex woman living, working, and daring in what is sometimes regarded as a simpler time.

Beloved Muskoka
144 pages, quality softcover
$22.00 in Canada
ISBN 978-1-896922-43-0

Even Cows go to Heaven

veterinary antics of the 1960s
By Linda Knox

Even Cows go to Heaven cover

From gentlemen cows to sunburned sows, Doc Knox treated them all, driving the country roads in his black, red-winged Pontiac.

Linda's father, Doctor Mel Knox, served as Owen Sound and Grey County's Public Health Veterinarian, and raised cattle, goats, pigs, chickens, cats and Elkhounds on the family farm, Rock Acres, on the Niagara Escarpment near Owen Sound.

At the Knox Veterinary Clinic, in barns and barnyards, at horse races and rotisserie chicken vendors, adventures of Doctor Mel Knox yield a harvest of humour. The book recalls life in a family that included Norwegian Elkhound nannies and AWOL pigs. 

Linda says, "The inspiration for this book came to me as I read James Herriot's amusing and poignant British veterinary books during the 1960s. Since I saw many similar attributes in my father's veterinary practice, I was motivated to record his adventures—someday."

One of the few writers to hold a Certificate in Dog and Cat Nursing from the Knox Clinic, Linda says, "I had plenty of personal experience and memories that helped me to write the descriptions of people and places."

Even Cows Go to Heaven is a quality soft-cover book of 144 pages. Full-colour cover art by Kristina Maus will make you smile, and the tales inside will prompt chuckles from readers.

$14.95 in Canada
ISBN 1-896922-30-9 978-1-896922-30-0


Tales of Farm Life 1913-1976

Harvest Dust

John R. Hardy's vivid account of life on a family farm from one hundred years ago to the final auction sale. Generously illustrated with images from family albums that take readers through the seasons: seeding and blossoms, haying and harvest, autumn colour and winter sparkle. His grandparents' farm was often visited by legendary photographer Reuben R. Sallows, who used the Hardys' operation to represent Ontario agriculture.

Designed by Bill Boyer, the pages of Harvest Dust evoke a bygone era in nostalgic detail.

John R. Hardy is the author/photographer of Rusty Rails: a photographic record of branchline railways in Midwestern Ontario 1961 – 1996 and Canadian Rail Travel.

Quality softcover edition 100 pages 8 x 10 inches 21 pages colour photographs, many B&W images
$33.00 in Canada
ISBN 978-1-896922-55-3

Our Spirit Unbroken

By Andrew B. Cox, DFM

Our Spirit Unbroken cover

After more than 40 successful missions in World War II, Andrew Cox was shot down over Germany, and spent nearly five years as a POW. 

His memoirs of that time are presented in Our Spirit Unbroken where he finds humour even in prison camp situations.

We are proud to announce that this book has been selected by The Dominion Institute for their Bridges to Remembrance School Project. The Institute recommended it as a book for branches of the Royal Canadian Legion to donate to school libraries across Canada, and will assist schools who wish to host author Andrew Cox. More information is available on the Memory Project website.

140 pages, softcover
$16.95 in Canada
ISBN 1-896922-11-2 978-1-896922-11-9

Somebody Move the Cat!

A family's up, down, and sideways journey
By Sheila Balls

Somebody Move the Cat cover
cover art created by Lin Souliere

From her two-fold career as a teacher and musician, Sheila Balls draws humorous and touching anecdotes that will tickle readers' funny bones and strike chords of recognition.

As varied and satisfying as the foods at a community potluck supper, the more than forty personal reflections in Somebody Move the Cat! bring the flavour of fun to the adventures of family life.

Artist Lin Souliere has created cover art that conveys the warmth of Sheila's writing, welcoming readers into another quality softcover book that makes an ideal gift.

In a review of Somebody Move the Cat! [The Observer, March 2005] Muriel Duncan wrote, "These short anecdotes can be enjoyed a handful at a time but they are addictive enough to be totally consumed at a sitting."

144 pages,softcover
$14.95 in Canada
ISBN 1-896922-27-9 978-1-896922-27-0

Thirty Years on Call, A Country Doctor's Family Life

By Doris Pennington

Thirty Years on Call, A Country Doctor's Family Life cover

Born in Grey County in 1888, Robert James Tucker taught in rural schools to pay for his university studies. After medical service in World War I and Queen's Military Hospital at Kingston, he cared for people of Paisley, Ontario, until his sudden death in 1948. Viola Huton Tucker, his wife, was a nurse; they met in Kingston, and, after the birth of their first baby, the young couple left the city. In Thirty Years On Call, their second daughter, Doris, reveals the challenges and joys of their family life.

196 pages, softcover
$18.95 Canada
ISBN 1-896922-14-7 978-1-896922-14-0

Tooling Around

By Michael O'Neill

Tooling Around

Tooling Around with Michael O'Neill takes readers down into trenches, up ladders, and around a hilly farm in midwestern Ontario. One day in the barn, the next in a wet basement, Mike applies humour in all situations. Equally handy with pitchfork, pipe wrench, and pen, he spins tales of on-the-job challenges and family fun.

Meet his helper Lady Bertha, the heifers that almost got away, and the grandsons who want him to play in the tree house. You'll chuckle as you follow Mike into crawl spaces and attics. Ride with him as Big Zed tackles thistles and a not-quite-all-terrain vehicle gives him a few surprises.

Michael O'Neill's stories have appeared in the weekly Lucknow Sentinel, a pair of independently published books, and the collection Our Farmily Farm: stories from Bruce & Grey.

The Brucedale Press $18.00 in Canada ISBN 978-1-896922-61-4

Now available in a Large Print edition.
ISBN 978-1-896922-65-2      $20.00


Walking Home

By David W. Beverly-Foster

 walking home

Walking home from Waterloo, Ontario, where he attended university, Dave Beverly-Foster followed the Grand River then traced the North Saugeen River. For twelve days, he trekked over 200 kilometres—on roads and rail trails, over bridges, through swamp, forest, and farmland, camping wherever he found shelter.

In this book, he reflects upon his experiences—earnest and absurd—and considers humans’ relationship with the land.
His photographs show the diverse rural terrain and the range of April weather he encountered.

240 pages including 8 pages of colour images.

ISBN978-1-896922-69-0 quality softcover $20.00

Why Not? a memoir in black and white

By Carolyn Muir Helfenstein

Why Not? a memoir in black and white

The feisty farmer who took on ownership of a small-town weekly newspaper recalls the ups and downs of life as co-publisher. In the twelve years that Carol and Harry Helfenstein published and edited The Teeswater News, they and their staff won fifteen awards. Starting in their own home on the Second Concession, they grew to an operation that presented two weeklies and several agriculturally oriented publication

From covering the Line in the Dirt farmers' crisis to getting obituaries right, they faced the challenges and felt the satisfactions of active involvement in their community and beyond. We proudly offer this book as celebration of an important aspect of rural life and proof that farmers can do anything.

240 pages illustrated with photographs from the files of The Teeswater News
$25.00 in Canada
ISBN 978-1-896922-41-6