Monday, June 16, 2014

Great Books To Study Canadian History

imageGreat Books To Study Canadian History – a guide to studying Canadian History Through Historical Fiction
Written by Bonnie Landry
Published at Excellent Resources

About the book

A perfect compliment to the Canada Series for more practice.

​Great Books to Study Canadian History is a guide to studying Canadian History through historical fiction. The purpose of this book is to fill the gap that exists in not only cataloging the sources for studying Canadian history, but to also whet the appetite for studying history as a springboard to other family studies. The book includes general Canadian History books, chronology of historical literature, timelines, poetry and links to other resources

My Thoughts

I discovered this book before our homeschool conference back in April.   I was curious about it and made a mental note to check it out while at the conference.   I liked what I saw but our budget was already allocated this year for other resources that were needed including some that I purchased at the Excellent Resources table.   A few weeks after the conference, I was given a beautiful book on Canadian history from a friend and I got reminded of the Great Books To Study Canadian History which would nicely complement the reading of the book I had received.   

Well, today I am presenting the new book Great Books to Study Canadian History which has just been released at Excellent Resources this year.   In this book, you will find literature suggested to complement your study of Canada and how to use them in your Canadian history studies.   It didn’t take me long to start reading and discovering this little gem.   Now, before I review this book, let me specify that it doesn’t contain books on Canadian history curriculum.   Instead, it is packed with titles of literature based on the historical eras of Canada.  Before I share my thoughts on the book, let’s check out the table of contents together:

  • Chapter One: Studying Canadian History Through Literature
  • Chapter Two: How to Read a Book so It Becomes the Curriculum
  • Chapter Three: General Books About Canadian History
  • Chapter Four: A Chronological List of Historical Literature
  • Chapter Five:  Timelines
  • Chapter Six:  Poetry and Artists
  • Chapter Seven: General Suggestions for Canadian Content in Other Areas
  • Chapter Eight: Resources – This chapter gives a list of suppliers and websites where you can find the suggested books included in this book.

I find the book very informative as the author will guide you on how to study Canadian history using literature and guide you in creating a timeline for your studies.   The list of books suggested to read are extensive to say the least.  Every titles mentioned in this product is listed by chronological events through Canadian history.   I quickly saw titles I was familiar with but also realized that other titles could be added to it.   For example,  I couldn’t find the books from Eric Walters that are linked to the history in Canada or the two Canadian based series published from Scholastic.  

The author also mentions the importance of complementing the reading of an historical novel with some research on the subject in an encyclopedia if the child wants to learn more about it.   I totally support this as I do believe on the importance of learning more on a specific subject.  However, she strongly encourage the use of World Book and after checking out the website, I was surprised to discover the price tag attached to it.   As homeschooler, I know the importance of budgeting and being wise with the money we have.  Having an husband who is a contractor makes this an higher importance for us.   Spending that much when you can access Wikipedia for free on the internet doesn’t make sense for me.   She did mentioned the use of online encyclopedia but quickly highlighted the fact that snuggling together around a computer is not an easy thing to do.  However, with the tablets being more and more popular in homeschool families I think it is feasible.   Another option would be to hook-up a computer to your television set and surf the internet on the big screen television.  That’s how we are set up in our living room and the kids can easily do research on the big screen where I can supervise rapidly what they are doing.    Knowing that Wikipedia is recognized as one of the best online encyclopedia on the internet, I choose to use this free resources instead of spending so much on a paper copy of an encyclopedia.

One other thing that the author has done in this product is to highlight the books that were specifically for grade 7 and up.   If you see a * next to a title of the book, it indicates that it is a suggestion for a core study for upper levels of middle and high school.  She also specify the kind of book listed by indicating if it is a fiction (F) or non fiction (NF).  Book keys will also help you to determine is the book is suitable for your kids – Level (1) for early readers, Level (2) for fluent readers, and Level (3) for advanced readers or adults.  This resource is well documented and will guide you in selecting the books that would be perfect for your family.   Finally, if you desire to have a look at the content of this book before deciding to purchase it, a preview is available on the Excellent Resources website.  

Do I think this book is a great tool to own?   Absolutely.   It will guide you in incorporating fabulous books to read while studying Canada.  I would also use a curriculum about Canada alongside with these historical fictions.  This resource is definitively a great reference to have and use in your homeschool.    It will help you identify the historical novels you could read with your kids – no matter the ages they are.  In order to complete it, I would also research other suggestions offered by Canadian homeschoolers on various blogs and Pinterest boards as well.  

Great Books to Study Canadian History is available for purchase directly from Excellent Resources in a Coil-Bound Book for the price of 15$ (Cdn).  Click on the Add to Cart in order to purchase it.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Excellent Resources for sending me the above mentioned title for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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