Book Review

Books provide insight into the way people lived in the past, what they thought, and why they did and thought what they did. Some of the reasons for people’s actions are ones we can agree with, while others don’t reflect the Christian worldview nearly so well.

Your major assignment for this course is to do a review of a substantial work of Canadian history. You may pick from one of the titles below, or you can also choose a different title, you’ll need to get it approved by me. Only one person may review a book.

Written Report

The written part of the presentations should be at least 500 words long. In other words, it needs to be really short. However, it needs to cover a lot of information. Your review should include:

  • A brief summary of the book
    • Of course, you need to include the book’s title, author, publication details, etc.
  • A description of the author’s main point. What idea is he/she trying to bring across? What is his/her worldview?
  • Your personal analysis, as a Christian, of this point. Is it something you can support?
  • What parts of the story/book would change if the book were written today?

Oral Report

You’ll also be presenting the material to the class. You have 10-15 minutes to do that, so you can afford to be much more detailed. In your presentation you should include:

  • A brief summary of the books
    • Be sure to include the title and author of the book.
    • Don’t tell us publication details.
  • Some of the best, most interesting stories that you found in the book. Which ones do you like?
  • Tell us the author’s main point. What idea is he/she trying to bring across? What is his/her worldview?
  • What do you, as a Christian, think of the author’s point?
  • Is the book still relevant to us today? Is his/her worldview still affecting us even now?
  • You need to be interesting. Do you come off as dull, or can you convince us with your enthusiasm and knowledge that this is a book we want to read?

Due Date

The due date is negotiable. However, whatever the negotiated date, the oral presentation must be presented on that day. If you are stuck for time, there may be flexibility as to when you hand in the written part, but not for the oral portion.


The project will be evaluated on how well you fulfilled the project requirements.

Suggested Reading List

These are suggested titles for the book review project. You are not restricted to any of these, but you will have to run any choices by the teacher.

To find these books, try the school library, the Winnipeg Public Library, or your neighborhood bookstore.

Berton, Pierre. The National Dream: The Great Railway 1971-1881. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1970. L

__. Prisoners of the North. Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2004.

Broadfoot, Barry. Ten Lost Years, 1929-1939: Memories of Canadians Who Survived the Depression. Various editions. L

Carstairs, Sharon and Tim Higgins. Dancing Backwards: A Social History of Canadian Women in Politics. Winnipeg: Heartland Associates, 2004. L

Copway, George. The Traditional History and Sketches of the Ojibway Nation. Various editions.

Douglas, Ann. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Canadian History. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1997.

Galloway, Priscilla, ed. Too Young to Fight: Memories from Our Youth During World War II. Toronto: Stoddart Kids, 1999. L

Granatstein, JL and Desmond Morton. A Nation Forged in Fire: Canadians and the Second World War. Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1989. L

Lévesque, René. Memoirs. Philip Stratford, translator. Montreal: Editions Québec/Amérique, 1986.

Micleburgh, Rod, Rudyard Griffiths. Rare Courage: Veterans of the Second World War Remember. Toronto: Dominion Institute, 2005. L

Milton, Viscount and WB Cheadle. The North-West Passage By Land: Being a Narrative of an Expedition from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Various editions.

Moodie, Susanna. Roughing it in the Bush. Various editions. L

Morton, Desmond and J.L. Granatstein.. Marching to Armadgeddon: Canadians and the Great War 1914-1919. Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1989. L

Mowat, Farley. The Desperate People. Revised Edition. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1975

Parry, Caroline. Eleannora’s Diary. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 1994. L

Render, Shirley. Double Cross: The Inside Story of James A. Richardson and Canadian Airways. Toronto: Dougas and McIntyre, 1999. L

Roblin, Duff. Speaking for Myself: Politics and Other Pursuits. Winnipeg: Great Plains, 1999. L

Roy, Reginald H. 1944: The Canadians in Normandy. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1984. L

Simcoe, Elizabeth. The Diary of Mrs. John Graves Simcoe. Various editions.

Stewart, Sharon. Louis Riel: Firebrand. Lantzville, B.C.: XYZ Publishing, 2007. L

Catherine Parr. The Backwoods of Canada: Letters from the Wife of an Emigrant Officer. Various editions.

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