Canada and the First World War


03 Book List

Children – Ages 9 to 14: Non-Fiction

At Vimy Ridge: Canada’s Greatest World War I Victory

Hugh Brewster
Toronto ON: Scholastic, 2007

Description: Brewster presents the events at Vimy Ridge and their importance to Canada, while also communicating the horrors of war. The book portrays events in a way that is easy for young readers to follow. It includes photographs, maps, and a glossary of terms.

Also available in French under the title: L’exploit des Canadiens: La bataille de Vimy Avril 1917

Explosion in Halifax Harbour: An Illustrated Account of a Disaster that Shook the World

David B. Flemming
Halifax, NS: Formac, 2004

Description: This detailed examination of the Halifax explosion (1917) includes an extensive collection of photographs. Flemming recreates the events leading to the explosion from the collision of the two ships, and explains how resources were mobilized across the city to respond to the disaster. The text may be difficult for younger students, but the large photo collection will be of interest to students of all ages.

The Halifax Explosion (Junior Edition): Surviving the Blast that Shook a Nation

Joyce Glasner
Canmore, AB: Altitude, 2003

Description: Glasner’s vividly detailed book traces the story of the 1917 Halifax explosion from the collision of two ships in Halifax harbour, to the struggles of survivors to rebuild their shattered city. A more advanced version of this book is also available for older readers. This book is part of the Junior Amazing Stories series.

The Men Who Marched Away

R. James Steel
St. Catharines, ON: Vanwell Publishing, 1989

Description: This book provides a detailed description and chronology of the war and its battles. There is little information on the home front, except for a short epilogue. The book includes diagrams, maps, photos, and a glossary, plus opinion and research questions in each chapter.

The Real Winnie: A One-Of-A-Kind Bear

Val Shushkewich
Toronto, ON: Natural Heritage Books, 2005

Description: Shushkewich tells Winnie’s story against the backdrop of the First World War. Harry Colbourn, Winnie’s original owner, was a veterinarian in the Canadian military. The book discusses his military career, and includes a document signed by Sam Steele recommending him for promotion. There is historical material on the outbreak of war, gas

Where Poppies Grow: A World War I Companion

Linda Granfield
Toronto, ON: Stoddart Kids, 2001

Description: This well-researched book uses archival material to create a scrapbook-style book on the First World War. Using postcards, letters, photos, and other memorabilia, Granfield explores many aspects of the war, including life on the home front. She also tells the personal stories of two soldiers, one who returned to Canada forever scarred, and another who did not survive the war.

World War I

G.W. Larkin and J.P. Matresky
Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1987

Description: This is a very general overview of the conflict from a distinctly Canadian perspective. It includes a chapter on the war in the air and at sea. The war on the home front is also covered, including discussions of farming, manufacturing, women’s contributions, profiteering, Sam Hughes, conscription, the Halifax explosion, financing, and the 1917 election. The book concludes with a brief discussion of the Treaty of Versailles, Canada’s growing independence, and the establishment of Remembrance Day. There are photos, headlines, short biographies of key figures, personal stories and quotations, diagrams, maps and a glossary of terms.