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Cruxton, J. Bradley and W. Douglas Wilson.

Don Mills, Oxford University Press, 1987. 442pp, cloth, $21.00, ISBN 0-19-540575-7. CIP

Grades 7 to 10
Reviewed by Jerry McDonnell

Volume 15 Number 6
1987 November

This second edition of a textbook for the intermediate grades deals with Canadian history from the rebellions of 1837 up until 1920. The emphasis is on problems and challenges to be overcome by the developing Canadian society. The organization is thematic rather than chronological, which helps to maintain interest but which can create confusion about the actual order of occurrence of events. This is only a small matter, however, given the benefits of the enthusiasm generated by the authors' approach. A feature even more important than the order of the narrative is the material on historical and learning methods distributed throughout the book. This begins in the first chapter with material on how to make notes, how to compare two people, and how to do role playing. Subsequent chapters discuss paragraph writing, using the discovery method, oral presentations, interpreting political cartoons, recognizing primary and secondary sources, debating, doing library research, and many other topics. These sections are meant for use by students with the guidance of a teacher. Their inclusion in the book means that the instructor can try different strategies without having to prepare masses of dittos or other handouts-materials that can easily be lost by students.

The book incorporates a great deal of illustrative material ranging from charts and historical photographs to cartoons, maps, census data, and diary entries. The theme of each section of the text is identified by a marginal drawing indicating if the material deals with rebellion, governmental development, English-French relations, transportation, farming, women, or one of the other themes.

The only really jarring note in this book is the grammar errors. The most frequent is the use of singular and plural in the same sentence, e.g., "anyone immigrating to Canada should bring their...." Unfortunately, this careless language mars what is otherwise a very fine book although I would still recommend it in spite of the fact that it will reinforce sloppy language habits. The grade 8 reading level means that it will be suitable for use in grade 9 or 10 history courses.

Jerry McDonnell, F.E. Madill S.S., Wingham Ont.
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