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Children's Nonfiction Curiosities & Wonders

Are We Having Fun Yet?

The Human Quest for a Good Time

by (author) Maria Birmingham

illustrated by Katy Dockrill

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Curiosities & Wonders, Daily Activities, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Humans have searched out fun for centuries.

Chariot races. Dueling crickets. Roller coasters. Rubik's Cubes. It seems we've always had a knack for finding interesting ways to have a good time. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. Our earliest ancestors had to worry more about survival than finding something to do in their free time. But as we evolved and daily living got a little easier, we began to think a bit more about entertainment.

In Are We Having Fun Yet?, readers follow the evolution of fun. It started simply, with storytelling by a fire. Soon it grew into activities like banquets, spectator sports, theater and fairs, to name just a few. Today huge theme parks attract thrill-seekers and people step into virtual worlds for fun. And that’s just scratching the surface. With things like virtual reality, fidget spinners and global phenomena like Pokémon Go, who knows what the future of fun will hold!

The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

About the authors

MARIA BIRMINGHAM is a longstanding contributor to OWL and Chickadee magazines, and the award-winning author of several books for young people, including Acting Wild, Biometrics, and A Beginner's Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars. Maria lives in Brampton, Ontario.


Maria Birmingham's profile page

KATY DOCKRILL is an honors graduate from Ontario College of Art and Design. Her fresh brush-and-ink illustrations have attracted a wide range of clients, and she has won a number of awards for her editorial work. She has illustrated A Voice for the Spirit Bears by Carmen Oliver, among other titles, as well as many covers for children's novels. Katy lives with her family in Toronto, where she loves swimming, gardening and taking walks with her daughter.


Katy Dockrill's profile page


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award

Editorial Reviews

“…Another wonderfully presented nonfiction book…Full of color photographs [and] playful expressionistic illustrations…Older readers will enjoy utilizing this book for their own amusement or for research.”

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“Interesting and educational, and, like the variety of fun activities mentioned in the book, there is something here for everyone...A most enjoyable read! Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Lively illustrations, color and historical photos, and "It's a Fact” sidebars supplement the text nicely…Enjoy this fun book full of fascinating information.”


“There's fun to be had in picking up this book and finding what sparks your interest.”

Sal's Fiction Addiction

“A timely reminder of how important fun is in our lives and the almost endless ways people throughout history have found to entertain themselves.”

Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Canadian Children’s Book News

“The strength of this title is its broad coverage which shows that fun is for people of all ages and is universal across cultures. Students will find this book informative and entertaining, too! Recommended.”

School Library Connection

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