The HarperCollins website has a free full preview of Erin Hunter’s first Seekers novel available at the moment. Given that I’ve enjoyed her Warriors book in the past, I didn’t see any point in turning down the chance to read this one, either. (Because heaven knows I don’t have enough books to read, right?)
So what do I see on the first few pages on the book, in the part that shows the map of just where the story takes place? This:
Notice anything a little… off about it? You will if you live in any of the Canadian martime provinces, at least the ones that aren’t Newfoundland.
Yeah. No border markings. Every single other Canadian province gets their border lines on the map, but New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island get lumped into some giant landmass that also incorporates some eastern American states.
And nobody can say that it was done that way because no part of the story takes place here. That may be true, but then why does Newfoundland get their border line?
I’m sure some of you think I’m getting my knickers in a twist over nothing, here. But let me put this in perspective. The maritime provinces get shafted for just about everything here, particularly New Brunswick. Concert tour going on? It comes east across the provinces, has a stop in Quebec before skipping New Brunswick and jumping right over to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s like we don’t exist. Even other Canadians practically ignore us, sometimes to the point of complete lunacy, like a city in Quebec claiming that it’s the oldest established city in Canada that’s still around. It isn’t. The city I live in is, Saint John. People landed and settled here long before they kept trekking west into Quebec territory, I can say that for sure.
Unless it involves and event in Halifax, or people assuming that all Canadians talk like Newfies, the maritimes are forgotten, passed over, ignored. And it bugs me. A lot. So to see it expressed like this, to acknowledge that the land is there but that the places within it aren’t even worthy of a few extra dots of ink on paper…
I’m pretty sure there are some people in Maine who are feeling the same way right now, too. Maine gets shafted about as much as New Brunswick does, I think. And it’s a shame, because we’ve got a lot to offer, if anybody would just notice that we’re here.