When my Finnish grandmother gave me a silver spoon and told me its tale, I had no idea it would lead me into three whole novels' worth of words!
Karen Autio grew up in Nipigon, Ontario. She had heard of the planned sabotage attempt on the Canadian Pacific’s Nipigon River railway bridge during the First World War, but she had difficulty believing it truly happened. While researching her previous book, Saara's Passage, Karen found confirmation of the 1915 event. German agents were arrested and confessed to spying and conspiring to destroy the railway bridge so they could prevent the movement of soldiers eastward. Discovering this information led Karen to additional research which inspired Sabotage, her newest book.
Sabotage is the third book in the trilogy that tells the Mäki family’s story. The first two books are Second Watch (Sono Nis Press, 2005) and Saara’s Passage (Sono Nis Press, 2008), both shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award.
Titles by the Author
Second Watch is based on true details of Finnish immigrant culture and the sinking of the great Empress of Ireland. Over the eight years that this Canadian Pacific steamship sailed the Atlantic Ocean, it transported more than 117,000 passengers to Canada. The sinking of the Empress on May 29, 1914, remains Canada's worst maritime disaster during peacetime. Of 1,477 passengers and crew on board, 1,012 were lost – more passengers than in the sinking of the Titanic. Yet the Empress of Ireland and its fate remain little known to most Canadians.
JUVENILE HISTORICAL FICTION • Ages 10+ • 200 pp • 5¼ x 7¾ • map, historical note and archival photos
ISBN 1-55039-151-8 • paper • $9.95
Chocolate Lily Award
(Nominee - 2009)
Saara is trying hard to put her horrible experience aboard the doomed Empress of Ireland behind her. She goes to school, roller skates with her best friend, and enjoys her new baby cousin. And she is so looking forward to starring in the school play!
But nightmares—and unanswerable questions—continue to disturb her. War is declared, and the future of the whole world looks uncertain. Then her family is struck with another heavy blow: tuberculosis. Saara's beloved Aunt Marja must go to the sanatorium in Toronto. Who will care for baby Sanni?
Juvenile Historical Fiction • Ages 10+ • 256 pp • 5¼ x 7¾ • historical note and archival photos
ISBN 1-55039-168-2, ISBN 13 978-1-55039-168-8 • paper • $10.95
German spies? Sabotage plots? Internment camps? Believe it or not, this is northwestern Ontario in 1915. The danger hits close to home for siblings Saara and John Mäki in this exciting story, the last in Autio’s popular historical fiction trilogy.
Juvenile Historical Fiction • Ages 10+ • 296 pp • 5¼ x 7¾ • historical note and archival photos
ISBN 978-1-55039-208-1 • paper • $10.95
To download an information sheet (pdf) about Karen Auto and Sabotage, click here.