________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 22. . . .February 8, 2013


Air Canada. (Canadian Business).

Sheelagh Matthews.
Calgary, AB: Weigl, 2013.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.), $27.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77071-225-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77071-211-9 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Air Canada-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Michelle Brown.

** /4



It is difficult to believe that Canada's largest full-service airline started with two passenger planes used for surveying. Called Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) when it first took off in 1937, Air Canada is now more than 70 years old and the country's largest airline.


Air Canada is one of our nation's most iconic and recognizable corporations. This book is one in a new series from publisher Weigl titled "Canadian Business."

      The layout of the book is visually interesting and will appeal to many readers. Each page is filled with large, glossy, full colour images and photographs. Timelines, graphs, quotes and figures are also interspersed amongst the text for added visual appeal. The book includes a glossary, an index and a table of contents for easy reference. Any words that are bolded in the text can be found in the glossary. This is a very useful feature as many important business concepts, such as 'internal audits' or 'deregulation,' may be difficult for young readers to grasp.

      The book is organized into short, easy-to-read chapters beginning with an overview of Air Canada and its long journey to becoming our national airline. Other chapters include information on various executive positions and their roles in the company as well as an examination of the ground staff, the flight crew and others. This overview may give readers some insight into the complex structure of a large organization and introduce young people to possible career paths. It is a good example of teamwork everyone must work together to get those planes off the ground quickly and safely.

      Especially interesting is the chapter titled "Giving Back" which highlights Air Canada's philanthropic efforts around the world. This illustrates to young readers that corporations have an obligation to be environmentally and socially responsible.

      The book ends with some suggested activities and a short quiz which may be interesting for teachers who wish to incorporate the text into other classroom projects.

      One drawback of the book is that it tends to lack objectivity and, at times, can be read as thinly veiled advertising. Parents and teachers are encouraged to add other books to their children's reading list should they want a more balanced perspective.

      Overall, Air Canada is an enjoyable and informative book. The text approaches the potentially dry and complicated topic of company profiling and presents it in a way that is surprisingly interesting and accessible to young readers.


Michelle Brown is a librarian in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, ON.

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

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