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Olga Klimko and Michael Taft
Saskatoon (Sask.), Fifth House Publishers, 1993.142pp, paper, $12.95,
ISBN 1-895618-17-7. Distributed by University of Toronto Press. CIP.

Grades 8 and up/Ages 13 and up

Reviewed by Val K. Lem.

Volume 21 Number 5
1993 October

"Them Days" uses personal accounts transcribed from interviews with one-time residents of the Souris River Valley along with quotations from two published local histories to detail many aspects of a former way of life in southeastern Saskatchewan. The period covered is vague and broad, with some people recalling tales of homesteading by their grandparents in the late nineteenth century and others recalling events of vintage as recent as 1976. The bulk of the memories appear to focus on the 1930s and 1940s.

The authors, an archaeologist and a folklorist/ university professor, provide concise introductions to the topics examined: settlement, work (including farming, ranching and trapping), water and fuel, food, recreational pursuits, and hardships. The resourcefulness of the people is the most striking feature of their interesting but sometimes repetitive stories.

Photographs of artifacts found in the area together with photos from family albums and views of the area today illustrate the text in an original, informative manner. Some photos lack clarity. The failure to include good maps may frustrate readers unfamiliar with the area described. The table of contents can substitute for an index.

"Them Days" could be a useful addition to secondary school or public libraries that already have some more traditional works on the history of the Canadian prairies in the twentieth century.

Val K. Lem is a librarian with the Board of Education for the City of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario.
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