Perilous Passage Teachers’ Guide


Shortlisted for the 2009 Red Maple Award and commended in Best Books for Kids & Teens

After a shipwreck in 1809, Peter finds himself the victim of amnesia. The sea captain who finds the teenager gives him the only name he knows, while others derisively dub him Peter No-Name. Eventually, Peter finds employment in a Montreal tavern where he meets a French voyageur called Boulard who changes his life irrevocably.

Boulard works for fur trader David Thompson, soon to become one of the world’s most famous explorers and mapmakers. Thompson is impressed with the teenager and enlists him in his obsessive quest to establish an overland "northwest" passage to the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River.

With Thompson, Peter embarks on an amazing series of adventures that brings him face to face with hostile Natives and exposes him to the hardships and life-threatening challenges of formidable mountains and primeval forests as the intrepid outdoorsmen canoe, ride, and sled across a continent still largely untouched by European civilization.


Silver Birch Award
Best Books for Kids & Teens
Supplementary Downloads


This book would be a very good addition to the intermediate history curriculum.

Resource Links

… an appealing book for history-lovers.

I give Perilous Passage three stars. For 13 years and older, they will like the good descriptions and intense suspense.


About the Author

B.J. Bayle

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

B.J. Bayle

B.J. Bayle's Battle Cry at Batoche was a Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, while Perilous Passage, about explorer and mapmaker David Thompson, was nominated for a Red Maple Award. Also the author of Shadow Riders, about the RCMP's early history, she lives in Cochrane, Alberta.