________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 7 . . . . November 26, 2004


The War of 1812 Against the States: Heroes of a Great Canadian Victory. (Amazing Stories).

Jennifer Crump.
Canmore, AB: Altitude Publishing (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2003.
135 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 1-55153-948-9.

Subject Heading:
Canada-History-War of 1812.

Grades 4-9 / Ages 9-14.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*** /4


For most of the 10 years that Major General Isaac Brock had been stationed in Canada, he had wanted nothing more than to leave. The career soldier yearned to be where the real action was - on the battlefields of Europe, fighting Napoleon. But instead he was stuck in Fort George, an old wooden fort outside the town of Newark, Upper Canada (present day Niagara on the Lake, Ontario), waiting for a war that might never happen.

The "Amazing Stories" series offers immensely readable, compelling snapshots of Canadian figures and their roles in our history. In The War of 1812 Against the States, the triumphs and defeats of Isaac Brock, James Fitzgibbon, Tecumseh, Charles-Michel de Salaberry and William Hamilton Merritt are related.

     Much more than a dry retelling of events of the War, the book provides readers with a sense of the personality and character of each individual. For example, in his youth, "Brock the Bold" was challenged to a duel. He accepted but stated that they would not fight at the usual 30 paces. He insisted they fire at each other over a handkerchief. His bluffing paid off, and his opponent quickly backed down.

     Crump explains the seemingly insurmountable odds against the Canadians and British. Readers will be intrigued by the war strategies and the descriptions of tactics that Brock used to make his army seem larger than it was to resist the American invasion, and how Fitzgibbon even disguised himself as a butter peddler to count men and armaments. The war scenes and horrors of villages being attacked are also well conveyed.

     The chapters are easy-to-read with section headings outlining the key events, from "Whispers of War" to "The Battle of Beaver Dams" and "The Battle of Chrysler's Farm." This well researched book reads like an adventure story. A "Cast of Characters" is included at the beginning, listing all the Americans, British, Canadians and Native Peoples included in the work. The book is framed by two fictional accounts. The Prologue is a letter written by a soldier at Fort York to his fiancee. The Epilogue is a journal entry from the soldier's great granddaughter reflecting on his contribution to Canada.

     History students will find the Chronology of Events and Bibliography useful. A good addition to public and school libraries.


Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

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

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ISSN 1201-9364
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