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Children's Nonfiction General

Why We Live Where We Live

by (author) Kira Vermond

illustrated by Julie McLaughlin

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2014
General, House & Home, General, Geography
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 6
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Why do you live where you do? The answer is a lot more complicated than it might seem. Why that house? Why this community? Why do cities sprout where they do? And what makes living there even possible?

Geography, topography, climate, landscape, food security, politics, economics, and more all play a role in how we choose the place we call home. This book takes readers on a tour of the various ways humans adapt to our environments — or change them to suit our needs. It considers the big picture — we live on Earth because it has a breathable atmosphere — right down to the little things, like friendly neighbors, that simply make us happy.

Why We Live Where We Live looks back in history at the transition from nomadic hunting to farming and the rise of cities following the Industrial Revolution. It also looks ahead to anticipate future concerns: how will climate change and rising water affect people who live near the ocean? Can humans survive in space? This comprehensive, cross-curricular resource will equip readers with a solid background on human habitation and context about their place on the planet.

About the authors

KIRA VERMOND is an award-winning writer and longtime freelancer from Guelph who rarely has a free moment to relax. With over 1,000 articles under her belt, Canadians have read her travel, career and money columns for The Globe and Mail and Chatelaine and listened to her career advice on CBC Radio weekday mornings for years. In 2010, Chatelaine and John Wiley published her book Earn, Spend, Save: The savvy guide to a richer, smarter, debt-free life. Kira also contributes to OWL Magazine, Today's Parent, Parents Canada, Canadian Family, PROFIT, FORUM Magazine, and many other consumer and trade publications.

Kira Vermond's profile page

Julie McLaughlin is an award-winning illustrator whose work includes commissions for editorial, advertising and publishing clients from around the world. Her previous books have been nominated for several awards, and she won the 2015 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction for Why We Live Where We Live. She is the illustrator of What Animals Want in the Orca Think series and Pride Puppy! Julie grew up on the Prairies and now resides on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.


Julie McLaughlin's profile page


  • Winner, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews

"Clear and accessible."

School Library Journal

"The friendly text and amusing illustrations make the sometimes difficult subject matter accessible. This is an excellent book for the classroom, school projects, and those children (all children?) who are always asking, 'Why?'"

National Reading Campaign

"This resource asks a unique question and stimulates young readers, ages 8-12, to engage in the world around them. It would be a great inclusion to any social studies, history or science curriculum to help youngsters understand the way society has evolved and their place within it."

Green Teacher Magazine

"This unusual book offers a surprising amount of information, organized and presented in an appealing way."

Kirkus Reviews

"This selection is a pleasant and helpful addition to social science, career, urban/country comparisons, and environmental issues."

Library Media Connection

"Concisely written but packed with a wealth of up-to-date information, Why We Live Where We Live has excellent potential to spark discussions among young readers as they consider their identity, their relationships with other people and cultures, and how they might want to influence the future of living situations."

Canadian Review of Materials

"An accessible primer on the development of human civilization, with plenty of potential to spur classroom activities and conversation."

Publishers Weekly

"The conversational tone of the text is complemented by Julie McLaughlin's colourful illustrations which are dynamic and, at times, humorous."

Resource Links

"It's a fascinating subject, and one the duo tackles with a refreshing lack of silliness."

Quill & Quire

"For curious kids who want to know all about the world (what's climate change and why did Grandpa immigrate, anyway?), this non-fiction book has the answers."

Today's Parent Magazine

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