CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 14 . . . . March 2, 2007
Canadian Crime takes a cheeky look at the history of crime in Canada. In general, I found the book's perspective a little too flip although I acknowledge my bias for presenting history to children straight up and not as action adventures. However, there are some interesting stories included in Canadian Crime that are probably not covered in a regular social studies class on Canada. I do wonder at the inclusion of riots and rebellions as depictions of crime. Political unrest is, to my knowledge, not a crime in Canada, at least not yet. Happily, other sections in this compendium of criminal activity are more on the mark, dealing with sensational murderers, thieves, rumrunners and swindlers.
At one hundred pages, the book is broken into six sections, seven if you include the introduction. The entries within each section can be as short as one paragraph, but some run a page or two. Each section has 10 to 12 events or personalities. They include those that are well known in Canadian history, such as the Riel Rebellion and prohibition, along with other lesser known train robbers, gangsters and con artists. The two sections that I found the most interesting were "Inventing the Police," the history of fighting crime in Canada, and "Getting Caught," with stories about the early Canadian penal system and descriptions of historical punishments that have thankfully not continued.
Lee Anne Smith, a youth services librarian and Head of the Cambie Branch for Richmond Public Library in Richmond. BC, was the chair of the nonfiction selection committee for the 2005/06 Red Cedar awards.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.