Resources Post – books about Canada!

we are going to Canada to visit relatives in the summer – woohoo!! SO we are learning a bit about Canada before we go. Last summer, whilst my sister was dying, I was at a conference in Toronto. [yes, that is one of those things that i would like to be able to edit] There I bought a couple of books of a large series. Now I have a wishlist of potential other ones!!

SO, ones we have

The fact books I am considering…

when we are there, will hopefully borrow some wildlife spotter books from family as well

Fictionalised History books i am considering

And for BB :)

All of these would possibly be easier to decide yes or no about if i could see them in the flesh tho. Fairly certain i would like the exploration one, so might buy a couple and then see if the others in the big waterstones in london to look at first! Particularly keen if anyone has any good ideas for fictionalised history – ie life in the times, but not necess ‘real people’

Previous resource Posts

board games




Thinking Dinosaur

History resources

Resources overview

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9 responses to “Resources Post – books about Canada!

  1. Hi Helen! What part of Canada will you be visiting? That would help me narrow down my suggestions a bit!

    I think the Pioneer Story book by Barbara Greenwood (and her other two in a similar format about the Klondike Gold Rush and the Underground Railway) are really neat. They’re all a combination of daily life “fiction” and non-fictional background material, illustrations and inspiration for hands-on learning.

    One you don’t have on your list which I would highly recommend is this one: Spirit of Canada: Canada’s Story in Legends, Fiction, Poem and Song. It’s a luscious anthology which gives a great overview of Canada’s culture, geography and history, with excerpts from writing by plenty of Canadian icons.

    Historical fiction:

    W.O. Mitchell’s “Who Has Seen the Wind” is quintessential prairie to me. “The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float” by Farley Mowat is funny and evocative of Newfoundland. Most of the “Dear Canada” diary-style books are exceptionally well written by great Canadian authors. “An Orphan At My Door” by Jean Little and “A Prairie as Wide as the Sea” by Sarah Ellis are two that we’ve really liked. There are dozens more I could recommend, but maybe I’ll see if I can tailor them a little more to the region you’re visiting.


  2. sometimes if you search on the .com website it has the ‘look inside’ bit. If you just change the address you have on the site to instead it works. That doesn’t help with any but the Canadian Flyer books you have there mind you.

    Phrase granny and sucking eggs is coming to mind though ;o)

  3. Miranda, thankyou. we are going to edmonton, and doing a motorhome loop from there to jasper, banff and drumheller [for the royal tyrell] before back to edmonton. hoping to go to ice fields, dithering over burgess shale :) and looking to completely fill our time :) with museums, walks, canoeing and spending far too much money – lol!

    Thanks for all the lovely book suggestions.

    I have looked at the canada site kirsty :) but wanted some good suggestions as to what we might enjoy. hadn’t found the hilarious canadian histories tho! sb loves all that type of book

  4. You’ll love the Tyrrell, and the Icefields parkway! What a great trip!

    Much of the story of western Canadian settlement is the story of the railroad. There’s a iconic song by folk singer Gordon Lightfoot called “The Canadian Railroad Trilogy” which would be worth checking out on YouTube. There’s now an amazingly illustrated children’s picture book based on the song.

    Further in the musical vein, there’s a guy named Mike Ford who used to be part of a well-known Canadian alternative rock band who for the past few years has been writing and recording some excellent music about Canadian history. The music stands alone on its own merits, but the history that’s within it has really piqued my interest and my kids’ as well. His “Canada Needs You” albums are available on iTunes here and hopefully in the UK as well.

    Some more historical fiction with more of a Western Canadian bent, in addition to the couple of prairie ones I mentioned before:

    “A Ribbon of Shining Steel” by Julie Lawson from the Dear Canada series, about the railroad.
    “Naomi’s Road” by Joy Kogawa, about the internment of Japanese during WWII.
    “Ambush in the Foothills” and others in the Bains series by Bill Freeman.


  5. Forgot to mention the “Our Canadian Girl” books. It is similar to the “Dear Canada” series in its solid literary quality, but is not written diary style, and the books are shorter — novellas really. We’ve really liked the ones we’ve read (Rachel, Penelope, Marie-Claire, Emily) but you might be more interested in the Keeley one which is set in Alberta. (We drove past the Frank Slide again a couple of days ago … pretty amazing!)

  6. some more great suggestions, thanks. love the look of the train one and the canadian girl one i think she will love too. have a few now in amazon basket :) . will listen out for the music too. We are so looking forward to the trip, and it is nice to have had a slow and relaxing meander through the history and the ‘feel’ before we arrive, to hopefully appreciate it all the more :) .

    My aunt was worried, saying what will we do? that there isn’t x y or z, i looked at her in utter amazement and said we would be hard pressed to do a 10th of what we would want to do! i think they had some visitors from the other side of the family whose kids were perhaps more reliant on tv/them parks etc, mind you, she lives really really close to the mall! SO not getting a helpful steer on what we shouldn’t miss, as i think she doesn’t believe that our kids will love it! [not convinced tho that they would go for the burgess shale walk, as it does look more difficult, and BB not a huge walker...] going to set some travelbugs free with geocaching as well. but it is v hard to work out what we really shouldn’t miss, and what would be nice to fit in and what would be a good backup!

  7. the pioneer book has already arrived! it is really really fabulous, loving it already :)

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