CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 15 . . . .March 21, 2008
The Great Canadian Factbook.
London, ON: Arcturus Canada (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2008.
207 pp., hardcover, $19.95.
Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.
Review by Gail Hamilton.
In Canada, a great number of mountains straddle the borders of neighbouring provinces and territories. One such mountain extends into the boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, giving each province its highest point. Its summit lies ten metres within the territory of Newfoundland and Labrador. The mountain had no name until 1971, when the Quebec government proclaimed it Mont d’Iberville. The designation was ignored by Newfoundland and Labrador and, ten years later, the province named their side Mount Caubvik. Even to this day, the name evidently depends on which side of the border you live on.
History and trivia buffs will enjoy this factfile which consists of top ten lists, tables and maps. Bits of trivia and black and white photographs are interspersed throughout the text to break up the table format and to add visual interest. The book, containing thousands of facts, is divided into eight main sections- land (which includes history as well as geography), politics, law and order, war and peacekeeping, arts and culture, sports, business and media. A table of contents is provided.
The section on land covers such topics as geography, provincial and territorial gems, trees and flowers, weather, tallest structures, population, and history, including information about holidays (although Manitoba’s newly proclaimed Louis Riel Day is not mentioned), politics, the governors of New France, Canada’s governor generals, life expectancy of Canadians through the decades, the first Canadians in space and the 20 greatest Canadians as voted in a 2004 CBC poll (readers will discover some surprising results here).
Law and Order features members of the Supreme Court, the hierarchy of the RCMP, and crime rates by province and city.
In War and Peacekeeping, readers will learn about the armed forces council, forces bases, and Canadian war heroes.
Arts and Culture lists the Governor General’s Award winners for literature and drama (up to 2005), Juno and Genie Award winners and Canadian Hall of Fame inductees. Libraries with the largest number of holdings are also listed.
Sports covers Stanley Cup championship teams, hockey stats, curling, football (including winners of the Vanier Cup), lacrosse, baseball and basketball. Canada’s medal record in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games is provided, but there is no mention of the Pan-Am Games.
The Business section includes data about the largest crown and public corporations, banks, and oil, electricity and natural gas companies.
Media features newspapers, broadcasting and cable companies and entertainment companies.
This factfile, though very well researched, obviously has limitations in that it is already outdated. Most of the information is current to 2005.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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