Award-winning writer Sylvia Olsen's sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won, Counting on Hope tells the story of an English girl named Hope and a Lamalcha girl named Letia, whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures collide. The action is set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island. Alternating between free verse and prose, Counting on Hope follows the girls' individual story lines before, during and after their meeting. The novel captures the wonder and joy with which Hope and Letia develop their friendship and describes the tragic events, suspicion, fear and confusion that characterize so many early encounters between Europeans and the First Peoples. Ultimately a story of hope, the novel follows the two girls out of childhood, off their island paradise and into the complex realities of an adult world.
Sylvia Olsen is the author of many books and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. She has spent most of her life living in theTsartlip First Nation, where her children and grandchildren now live. Sylvia usually writes for children and young adults about the place between cultures where Canada's First Nations and settlers come together. She is also a storyteller who loves to work with young people to help them find their written and spoken voice. Sylvia is the mother of four and grandmother of seven. She lives in North Saanich near Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.sylviaolsen.ca.