CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 3 . . . . September 30, 2005
Canadian War Heroes has 10 chapters. Nine are about men and women with some connection to war. All are soldiers or airmen, except for Laura Secord who warned the British of an impending American attack during the War of 1812. Chapter 10 is about the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, a regiment with a history of heroism. The order of the chapters is puzzling. The Marquis de Montcalm, the commander of the French forces defeated by British General Wolfe in 1759, is the subject of Chapter 4, between Laura Secord and Alexander Roberts Dunn, who won a Victoria Cross because of his actions during the Crimean War (1854-1856). It would have made more sense to put Montcalm in Chapter 1 since historically he came before all of the other subjects in the book.
Author, La Giorgia graduated from Concordia University. Since graduation he has worked on a number of film and television projects and as a freelance journalist. This is his first book.
Canadian War Heroes is intended as recreational reading, but it is suitable for classroom work. It is written in a style that will arouse excitement and enthusiasm, not for war, but for the gallantry of those Canadians who participated in wars. All Canadians should know the history of soldiers like Isaac Brock and George Vanier and all the other heroes La Giorgia mentions. This book does an admirable job in introducing young readers to some of the most important figures in Canada's military past. It even mentions historical controversies such as that surrounding World War 1 flying ace, Billy Bishop.
The only teaching aid in Canadian War Heroes is a very brief "Notes on Sources". This is a pity. The inclusion of an index and other references would have made it more useful in a classroom setting. The book also has no photographs or other illustrative matter.
Thomas F. Chambers is a retired college teacher living in North Bay, ON.
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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.