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Children's Fiction General

Billy Higgins Rides the Freights

by (author) Gloria Montero

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 1982
General, Country Life
Recommended Age
7 to 15
Recommended Grade
3 to 8
Recommended Reading age
7 to 15
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1982
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1982
    List Price

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Billy Higgins and his family have a good life in Vancouver. His father is a skilled working man--a tool and die cutter--and while they aren't rich they are comfortable, and happy.
But when the Great Depression strikes and Billy's dad loses his job, everything changes. Billy's forced to quit school and look for work to help support his family, and soon finds himself one of thousands of unemployed men--young and old--wandering listlessly through the city's downtown. Billy works odd jobs delivering newspapers and running errands for the unions that are trying to relieve the men's suffering, and soon decides he has to do something to make change.
He joins a movement of men riding the rails to Ottawa to bring their plight to the attention of the government. Along the way Billy learns a lot--about the Depression and about himself--but when the men reach Regina they're taught an especially bitter lesson.
Billy Higgins Rides the Freights is the story of one young man coming of age in the brutal years of Canada's Great Depression.

About the author

GLORIA MONTERO is a writer, broadcaster and film-maker.

Gloria Montero's profile page


  • Winner, Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Selection

Editorial Reviews

"A frank, honest and gutsy look at life in the Dirty Thirties."

Farley Mowat

"Kids will be fascinated by the exciting story of Billy Higgins."

Margaret Laurence

Other titles by Gloria Montero