________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 20 . . . . May 29, 2009

cover Canada and the United States. (Canada Past Present Future).

Nick Winnick, ed.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-489-7 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-488-0 (hc.).

Sbject Headings:
Canada-Forein relations-United States-Juvenile fiction.
United States-Forein relations-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

***½ /4

cover Political Issues. (Canada Past Present Future).

Nick Winnick, ed.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-491-0 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-490-3 (hc.).

Sbject Headings:
Canada-History-20th century-Juvenile fiction.
Canada-Politics and government-20th century-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

***½ /4

cover Economy. (Canada Past Present Future).

Nick Winnick, ed.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-493-4 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-492-7 (hc.).

Sbject Headings:
Canada-Economic conditions-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

***½ /4

cover Immigration. (Canada Past Present Future).

Nick Winnick, ed.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-497-2 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-496-5 (hc.).

Sbject Headings:
Canada-Emmigration and Immigration-History-Juvenile fiction.
Sbject Headings:
Immigrants-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

***½ /4

cover Science and Technology. (Canada Past Present Future).

Nick Winnick, ed.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
48 pp., pbk. & hc, $12.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-487-3 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-486-6 (hc.).

Sbject Headings:
Science-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Technology-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

***½ /4

cover Sports. (Canada Past Present Future).

Nick Winnick, ed.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-495-8 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-494-1 (hc.).

Sbject Headings:
Sports-Canada-History-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

***½ /4

excerpt:

Throughout history, Canada and the United States have worked together in many ways. These two nations have aided in conflict resolution across the globe, been instrumental in encouraging peace agreements between warring nations, and provided relief for struggling countries. As two of the most powerful nations in the world, Canada and the United States are able to use their influence to guide other countries through difficult times and offer assistance in the form of funds, military action, and medicine. (From Canada and the United States.)

Since confederation in 1867, Canadians have held strong opinions about what is the best course of action for their country. Often, there are disagreements and heated arguments between Canadians and between their representatives in government. Other times, Canadians stand together on important issues affecting the nation.

The voting rights of women, the energy crisis of the 1970s, the World War I conscription debate, and the introduction of the GST are just a few examples of times when Parliament has debated important issues. Politicians and parties come and go, but the desire for a healthy, more prosperous Canada remains. (From Political Issues.)

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Canadian economy has faces major challenges and achieved great successes. From the spending sprees of the 1920s to the Great Depression of the 1930s, there have been extreme examples of “booms and busts” in the nations financial history.

As the demand for certain products increase and supply diminishes, costs begin to skyrocket. Similarly, as products become more available, the price decreases making it more affordable for the general public. In and effort to stabilize the economy, governments try to predict these trends. (From Economy.)

Canada is, at its heart, a nation of immigrants. Aboriginal Peoples are the original inhabitants of this country, but for hundred of years, people from nations all over the world have come to live here as well. These immigrants are brought here by curiosity and the hope for a brighter future.

Canada has grown from collection of trading posts and small communities to the social, scientific and industrial leader it is today. Immigrants to Canada began established cities and towns, laid down the railroads, and harvested the fertile lands and seas to feed a hungry young nation. (From Immigration.)

Since the beginning of the 20th century, humans have made the most rapid scientific and technological progress in history. Inventors, scientist, and entrepreneurs led the rush to new advances. Many of the advances that have made our lives longer, healthier, and more comfortable started in Canada. Our long history as explorers, inventors, and industrialists has improved both Canada and the world. (From Science and Technology.)

Canada is a nation of sports enthusiasts. Many Canadians grow up playing hockey in the winter, soccer and baseball in the summer and basketball indoors all ready round. It is rare to find a Canadian who does not have his or her own sports story to tell.

When Canadians are not playing sports, they often watch and cheer on professional players. Many Canadians feel a deep bond to their local sports teams, supporting them in tough times and celebrating their triumphs. Nation Hockey League (NHL) and Canadian Football League (CFL) games draw huge crowds to stadiums around the country. (From Sports.)

The “Canada Past Present Future” series takes a look at the past 100 years and breaks it down not only into topical reference books, but each book, itself, is broken down by decades - working backwards from the present to the early 1900s. Although at first it would appear nonintuitive, it occurred to me that approaching history in reverse would be a fantastic way to reach the student who finds the subject of Canadian history “dull and boring” as it grounds them in the present with people and places they will have already connected to in this modern media-oriented culture.

     Each book is highly illustrated with photos, maps and a running timeline on each page of important events which occurred during each decade of the last 100 years. Bite-sized factual essays inspire further interest and research. The writing style is clear and fast-paced with lots of fascinating trivia. Each decade contains a small “into the future” question box to encourage critical thinking on current day events in light of the past. And each book ends with a fast-forward to present day concerns and challenges the student into action - offering them some first steps in taking that action.

     Almost every subject a student could be passionate about is addressed with its own title in the series; with possibly the obvious omissions being “Arts and Culture” and “Industry and Agriculture” which I would encourage the publishers to look into adding at a future date. Otherwise, this series is highly recommended for its engaging style and as a jumping off point towards deeper study in Canadian history.

     Although the publishers recommend this series for grades 5 through 8, I would suggest that the materials are best suited to average readers in grades 5 or 6. However, slower readers in grades 7 or 8 might find the layout easier to manage than a larger volume.

Highly Recommended.

Shannon Ratcliffe is a home educating teacher-librarian in Québec with students ranging from pre-kindergarten to high school.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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