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Acosta, Joan.

Vancouver, Douglas & McIntyre Educational. 1987. 63pp, paper, $6.95, ISBN 0-920841-44-9. CIP

Grades 5 and up, Adult English as a Second Language
Reviewed by Grant Reynolds

Volume 16 Number 5
1988 September

Coast-to-Coast Reader is a series of short articles (about one hundred words long) each with a photograph or illustration. Intended for new Canadians, it is written in simple English.

The first section, "People of Canada," is consistently interesting. It features short articles about various Canadians, from heroes such as Ben Johnson and Rick Hansen to a woman who had her wish fulfilled on her 101st birthday when she got to ride a horse again after eighty years.

The second section, "Canada, the Country." has highs such as "Alberta Was Home to Dinosaurs" and lows such as "Canada's Place Names Tell a Story," which features a map of Canada with a dozen pieces of information crowded in around it. One wonders why the clear, uncluttered format was abandoned on pages such as this one.

The last section, "Daily Life in Canada," continues the downward interest spiral, featuring dull illustrations and prosaic topics such as making play dough and repotting plants.

One wishes Acosta had stuck to her original winning format of a photograph and article on each page. When this format is used (as it is throughout most of the book), the photograph serves to catch the interest of the reader, who is then stimulated to read the article that goes with it.

Despite the lapses, Coast-to-Coast Reader is for the most part an interesting book and I recommend it for the beginning and intermediate ESL levels.

Grant Reynolds, Central Technical School Toronto, Ont.
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