Believe it or not, I am reading a non-fiction book!

Every year I read at least one book in each of the Forest of Reading programs. And this year, I’ve decided to start with the Silver Birch Non-Fiction title The Extraordinary Life of Anna Swan.

This book tells the story of an unusual baby girl born in Nova Scotia in 1846.  Anna Swan entered the world in a big way.  Born at an astonishing weight of 13 pounds, she kept growing until she was nearly 8 feet tall. Billed as “The Nova Scotia Giant Girl” Anna spent time working for P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in New York, and other similar enterprises. She traveled, and met the queen of England. She even found love with a man her own height.

The Extraordinary Life of Anna Swan gives an interesting overview of Anna’s life, with lots of vintage photographs and entertaining anecdotes. Author Anne Renaud portrays Anna Swan as a woman playing the hand she was dealt with grace and dignity, and never losing control of her own life. The result is a fascinating peek into the life of a Canadian woman who may have been known for being a “giantess” but was clearly much, much more.