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Notes From a Children's Librarian: Books on Government

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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Teachers know the best way to engage students is to ask why. Why should kids care about government? This list is aimed at the Grade 5 Social Studies unit.

The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics, by Edward Keenan, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin, is written in a way that hooks kids with a logical argument, beginning with the reader being told s/he is already a politician. How and why government is formed, how we decide things and how we get along are all addressed, which leads a discussion of how Canada’s party system works. Each chapter clarifies a single concept, including case studies; this one makes for a great read aloud.

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The following books are appropriate for independent research. 

Canadian Government, by Elizabeth MacLeod, is a book perfectly designed for the Grade 5 student, written in five simple chapters (Federal, Provincial, Municipal levels, as well as the Governor General’s role and Voting). It’s broken down into cl …

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A Canada We Recognize

Book Cover A Day in the Life of Canada

It's inevitable that the whole country goes batshit at election time, particularly when things seem a bit precarious for those desperate to hang onto their power, but in the last couple of weeks, the national conversation has taken a dangerous turn, becoming rife with hatred and anger. The result has been a Canada as weird and terrible as the Canada depicted in the photo to your right (which was brought to our attention via a tweet by the Orkney Library) but much less funny. 

And so in an attempt to balance the scales of sanity, we offer this list of books that give us a Canada we recognize.

 

A Canada that is a place of asylum

Book Cover Flight and Freedom

Flight and Freedom, by Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner

The global number of people currently displaced from their home country—more than 50 million—is higher than at any time since World War II. Yet in recent years Canada has deported, denied, and diverted countless refugees. Is Canada a safe haven for refugees or a closed door?

In Flight and Freedom, Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner present a collection of thirty astonishing interv …

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