________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 20. . . .February 3, 2017


The Story of Canada. New Updated Edition.

Janet Lunn & Christopher Moore. Illustrated by Alan Daniel.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2016.
338 pp., hardcover, $39.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-1954-2.

Subject Headings:
Canada-History-Juvenile literature.
Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**** /4



The country’s first superhighway, the Queen Elizabeth Way from Toronto to the U.S. border, had opened just before the war. In the fifties and sixties, the exit ramps, interchanges, and overpasses of superhighways blossomed around every big city. The federal government and the provinces got together to build the Trans-Canada Highway from St. John’s to Victoria. Trains still hauled freight and grain across the country, but the day of the railway was passing, and soon passenger trains would be running half empty. If Canadians couldn’t travel by air, they wanted to go by highway.


In this revised and updated version of The Story of Canada, award-winning authors Lunn and Moore captivate readers with their vivid narrative that focuses on the major events and, especially, the people that contributed to this country’s rich history. Divided into 11 chapters, the book begins with stories of the first peoples who inhabited the land more than a hundred centuries ago. The arrival of European explorers, settlers and voyageurs resulted not only in the creation of settlements in Upper and Lower Canada but also in the eventual development of the northwest. Though the usual topics are included in this book – the War of 1812, the Riel Rebellion, Confederation, immigration, the Gold Rush, the expansion of the railway and the Great Depression, for example – their stories are told from a human perspective. The inclusion of interesting anecdotes, such as the voyageurs’ tale of “Chasse-galerie”, excerpts from books written by the early inhabitants of Upper Canada, and human interest stories, such as the birth of the Dionne quintuplets, make history come alive. Achievements of Canadians from all walks of life also contribute to the narrative, some examples of which are Lester B. Pearson’s winning the Nobel Peace prize in 1957 for his work on the Suez crisis, swimmer Marilyn Bell, who was the first person to swim across Lake Ontario, and humanitarian Terry Fox, who attempted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. From prime ministers to athletes and authors to astronauts, The Story of Canada has it all. The text is enlivened by a wide variety of illustrations: maps, drawings, paintings, black and white as well as colour photographs, historical documents, engravings and posters, all of which are labelled with detailed descriptions. Also provided are a table of contents, an index and a chronology listing major events, from 75 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the land now called Canada, to February, 2016, which marked the arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees.

      Thoroughly researched, extremely well-written and highly engaging, The Story of Canada is a testament to Canada’s fascinating history.

Highly Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

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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