Evangeline for Young Readers

Written by Helene Boudreau Patsy MacKinnon (illus.)
Review by Lucy Bertoldi

The story of Evangeline has been forever retold throughout Acadian history. Based on Longfellow’s poem about Evangeline and the Acadian deportation, in which a young couple in love is separated for life, this heartbreaking love story takes us through the trials and hopes of the two for finding each other again.

Acadians, the original French settlers in eastern Canada, were forcibly deported to the U.S. or back to France by England’s King George II. Families were split and villages burnt down completely. Amidst all this was a young couple, Evangeline and Gabriel, who knew each other since infancy. Their love was so great that even after they were separated, they lived their whole life in constant search for one another. Their reunion was a tragic and unforgettable moment in history.

Evangeline is an interesting introduction to Acadian history. This legend originates from true moments of a devastating fate lived by the people. Young readers will be touched by the depth of love and sorrow that this story brings. As well, they are sure to be interested in learning more about the Acadians, whose rich history and resiliency is still strong and vibrant today.