________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number . . . .March 17, 2017


Justin Trudeau. (Canadian Prime Ministers).

Pamela McDowell.
Calgary, AB: Weigl Educational Publishers (Distributed by Saunders Book Co.), 2017.
24 pp., pbk., hc. & multi-user tabvue, $13.15 (pbk.), $28.75 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4872-0351-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4872-0350-4 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4872-0352-8 (tabvue).

Subject Headings:
Trudeau, Justin, 1971- -Juvenile literature.
Prime ministers-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Ian Stewart.

*** /4



Justin’s desire to bring positive change to the world has been influenced by his family and experiences. The time he spent with his father helped shape his view of Canada and his approach to decision-making. Pierre Trudeau encouraged intellectual debates around the dinner table and often quizzed the boys in history, poetry and religion. A great variety of guests visited Trudeau, including architects, musicians, and political figures. Justin and his brothers were expected to learn about each guest before he or she arrived so that they could have meaningful conversations. Trudeau expected the boys to be interested and active participants even though they were young. These skills helped Justin connect with his students and later with Canadian voters.


Justin Trudeau is the tenth title in the “Canadian Prime Ministers” series, all of which have been previously reviewed in CM. Like the other introductory biographies of Canada’s Prime Ministers, this title about our 23rd prime minister achieves three primary goals: it provides students with a succinct outline of Justin Trudeau’s life, acquaints them with Canada’s electoral process and offers suggestions on biographical writing.

     Justin Trudeau grew up in a family immersed in politics and advocating changes in the Canadian political system of government. Students will learn about the individuals who influenced and continue to influence Justin’s intellectual and moral development. Justin earned degrees in literature and education from McGill University in addition to studying engineering and environmental geography. He taught in Vancouver from 1999 to 2002 and became national chair of Katimavik, a national youth organization.

     Justin Trudeau is the first child of a former prime minister to hold the same office, and students will learn how Justin rose to prominence in federal politics. He was elected to the House of Commons in 2008. In 2013, he became the leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister in 2015, promising economic opportunity, increased respect for freedom, democracy and a more democratic government. In the section “Thoughts from Justin Trudeau”, students can read his thoughts on family, rights and freedoms and the resettlement of refugee populations. In the section “Achievements and Successes”, they can reflect on and evaluate whether he is fulfilling his promises to the Canadian people.

     The text includes a section on the responsibilities of the Prime Minister and brief biographical sketches of four earlier prime ministers: Sir Wilfred Laurier, John Diefenbaker, Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper. The final sections contain a useful concept web on writing a biography, a timeline of significant events in Trudeau’s life, other research resources, a glossary and an index.

     This biography, as well as the others in the "Canadian Prime Minister" series, will help students in understanding the lives and beliefs of our prime ministers and would be a worthwhile addition to school libraries or as a classroom set.


Winnipeg’s Ian Stewart retired from teaching on December 31, 2016.

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.
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ISSN 1201-9364
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