________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 6. . . .October 8, 2010


Canada and the United Nations. (Canada Past Present Future).

Bev Cline.
Calgary AB: Weigl, 2010.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $13.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-969-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55388-966-3 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
United Nations-Canada-History.
Canada-Foreign relations.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

*** /4


Society. (Canada Past Present Future).

Nick Winnick.
Calgary AB: Weigl, 2010.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $13.95 (pbk.), $26.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-971-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55388-968-7 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Canada-Social conditions-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Shannon Ratcliffe.

*** /4



The United Nations operates as a family of organizations. This is known as the United Nations "system." The Secretariat, headed by the Secretary general, is the head of a vast organization of people that carry out the day-to-day operations of the United Nations from its headquarters in New York City.

These include administering, peacekeeping operations, mediating international disputes, and preparing studies on human rights or the environment. (From
Canada and the United Nations.)

In every part of the world, there are special features of communities, countries, and families that set them apart from all others. From the way people talk and dress, to the landscape itself, each part of a community contributes to that uniqueness. How the people around us behave and think are what makes up a society.
Canada's identity continues to be changed and shaped by the people who live in this nation. Canada's land is vast, and communities of all cultures, attitudes, and beliefs are nestled between its three oceans. From the early French and English settlers to immigrants from Asia and the Middle East who are just beginning to make a home here. Canada's people have a varied and rich heritage and culture. (From


The "Canada Past Present Future" series examines Canadian history in a unique waywalking backwards from the year 2010 till the early 1900's. This approach allows the student to be engaged by current events they may still be hearing about in the news and have their interest piqued in how we arrived at where we are. The books' contents, therefore, inspire an interest in history as a story with "today consequences" rather than the typical format of starting "way back when." Each four-page spread covers a decade from the last century and also asks readers to "look into the future" at the same time. The final pages of the books offer the reader some hands-on ideas for activities and further research, thus completing the purpose of engaging the child in pursuing the subject of history as an interest.

      I will warn again that, at first, the books' approach would appear non-intuitive; it really does work in helping the reader connect past "causes" to modern day "effects," but once the reader is engaged, the books read seamlessly and enjoyably, resembling visiting a favourite website you know. In fact, because of its highly illustrated layout with a running timeline on each page of some important events from each decade, small factoid bits of information and clear writing style, the books are a comfortable read for today's media-savvy students.

      I recommend this series for its engaging style and as a jumping off point towards deeper study in Canadian history. The part I admire most in the series is the call to the reader to further action. Whether it be to consider a career option or volunteering to participate in a national holiday celebration, the reader is left with inspiration and direction, something often missing in books like this.

      As I've mentioned in a previous review of this series, 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.


Shannnon Ratcliffe is a Home Educating teacher-librarian in Ontario with students ranging from kindergarten to high school.

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

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