by Linda Goyette
Brindle & Glass, 2010
$12.95, 232 pp, ages 9+
“The True North strong and free.” What do these words from our national anthem, sung countless times at school and major events, mean to the average southern, urban-bred person? How many of us even hear them anymore and wonder why they are part of our common heritage? Well, wonder no more. Northern Kids by the journalist Linda Goyette, will help you answer these and many other questions you did not know you had about life in this defining part of Canada.
This book is the fourth title in the publisher’s Courageous Kids series. Northern Kids introduces us to 24 incredible kids from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and northern regions of the western provinces. Their stories told in their voices, really happened and span time from 1895 to 2010. We live the Gold Rush days, hunt for caribou, follow a dogsled, make a raft and go down the Yukon River, see the tundra in all its variations, feel the sun that never sets, face a grizzly. All the stories are based on interviews and archival research, and each episode is followed by a section called “What do we know for sure?” offering us additional details and a historical context.
Curriculum Connections: As teachers, we are always looking for things that are “real” and will bring to life our lessons on how others live, on the environment and how it affects humans, what it was like “a long time ago” and especially what it is/was like to be a kid elsewhere. The young people we meet in Northern Kids will win the hearts of their southern counterparts and will help make the North truly part of our heritage. This is a keeper.
Review by Mary Moroska.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May/June 2012 issue.