Canada Year by Year – A Book Review

Title: Canada Year by Year 
Author: Elizabeth MacLeod 
Illustrator: Sydney Smith 
Publisher: Kids Can Press, 2016 
Age Range: 7-12


Award-winning author Elizabeth MacLeod’s year-by-year tour of Canada’s fascinating history highlights a single milestone for every year from the country’s founding in 1867 up to its 150th anniversary in 2017.


Do you ever wish you had an easily accessible timeline of Canada? Do you not have the space or not wish to display one in your home? What a great idea- a timeline in a book! Canada Year by Year is a full-colour, detailed, chronological overview of events that shaped our country. 

Canada Year by Year goes beyond the typical events that you would expect to be covered on a timeline. Many events are included such as: 1878 women in medicine, 1891 Basketball invented, 1904 first olympic Team, 1910 the first chocolate bar, 1954 Marilyn Bell’s swim, and many more lesser-known events. There are also typical entries that you would expect to see mentioned in a book about Canadian history. 

The events are divided into sections for easy reference or if you are studying a specific time period. For example, entries start with “A Country is Born” and end with “A New Millenium”. Each event is detailed in a paragraph of information. 

I also appreciate how there are several entries depicting our diversity as a country. Diverse events include: the first Aboriginal woman in parliament, the Black community of Africville, 1877 Treaty Number 7, the first Inuk Senator, women practicing medicine for the first time, Chinese railway workers, and more. 

I do wish, however, that the book included history before Confederation other than a brief, two paragraph entry telling about the Indigenous people and the Vikings. There are, however, more entries after Confederation that detail more of what happened with the Indigenous people. The book was created to start when Canada became an official country rather than focusing on what happened before that. With this in mind, it would be good to pair this resource with ones that went into more details about life pre-Confederation in the area we now call Canada. 

Overall, I recommend this book as an excellent resource to include with your Canadian history studies. It gives a great overview of our country since Confederation and includes some fun and entertaining details along the way!


Lisa Marie Fletcher
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