Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12
- Grade: 7
A beautifully crafted graphic novel, tracing the achievements of the Canadian Forces in the Second World War.
In 1914, Canada went to war as a subject of Britain. In 1939, it made the choice to fight all on its own.Canada at War follows the developments and setbacks, wins and losses, of a nation learning to stand up for itself in the midst of the most difficult war of the 20th century.
In graphic-novel format, fully illustrated and in full colour, Canada at War shows the growth of a nation's army, navy and air force through movingly depicted triumphs and tragedies. From the disheartening losses at Dieppe and Hong Kong through the Battle of the Atlantic and the invasion of Sicily, it focuses on the human dimension of the key battles and decisions that ultimately swung the war in the Allies' favour.
This poignant graphic account ends, after the victories of D-Day and Juno Beach and the liberation of Europe, with a final reckoning of the legacy these storied years have had on a country forged through war. Aimed at both adult and young adult readers, this very human history tells the stories behind some of this country's most distinguishing military moments.
Short-listed for the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award.
About the authors
Paul Keery holds degrees in history, law, library and information science, and education. In 2007, he was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator in recognition of his work in integrating technology into classroom teaching. Keery has published a history book for young people, Maple Leaf Forever, on the history of Canada's Confederation, as well as articles for a number of newspapers and professional journals.
Michael Wyatt is a self-taught artist who began his career as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer in 2006. His original designs have appeared on everything from greeting cards to hockey jerseys. He has contributed artwork to Kayak and Legion magazines, and his cartoons and caricatures are syndicated internationally.
- Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
"In Canada at War, author Paul Keery and illustrator Michael Wyatt have produced a winning combination that recounts Canadaï¿½s massive contribution to the Second World War. It is specially intended for those readers brought up on visual stimuli and who need more than text alone to convince them to read -- let alone enjoy a book...In seven chapters, Canada at War does an outstanding job of chronicling the efforts of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force in the major campaigns in which they fought."
"The lesson of Canada at War is of Canadian soldiers' bravery and perseverance amid harsh and brutal conditions."
Winnipeg Free Press
"Keery and Wyatt's concise and visually enriched version of Canada's role and military experiences in that period and event include a simple reminder as well: the United States' great big (geographically) neighbor to the north is not an addendum to our own national experience and culture; Canada is a nation and state of its own, with diversifying edification for us 'Americans'...[Keery] provides a clear and focused accounting of Canada's participation on the Allies' behalf...Wyatt's expressive and brilliantly inked images individual politicians, military leaders, and landscapes, as well as common soldiers and sailors and pilots in frightening spaces and events..."
School Library Journal
"I found this an interesting graphic novel, well illustrated and something that I would imagine would make an excellent history primer for kids. Adults would also of course, enjoy the book...The full colour illustrations are excellent and stylistic..."
"This account emphasizes the human dimension of the struggle and features clean, realistic color art with ample text blocks as well as dialog. Intended for both adults and young adults, this should be useful in history classes throughout North America in addition to appealing to WWII buffs and aficionados of war comics."
"In graphic-novel format, fully illustrated and in full colour, Canada at War shows the growth of a nation's army, navy and air force through movingly depicted triumphs and tragedies...Aimed at both adult and young adult readers, this very human history tells the stories behind some of this country's most distinguishing military moments."
Canada at War: A Graphic History of World War TwoCanada at War employs the fully illustrated, full-colour, graphic-novel format to present an overview of Canada’s participation in the Second World War. The narrative chronicles the key aspects of Canada’s military involvement: defeats at Hong Kong and Dieppe, the Battle of Britain, the Battle of the Atlantic, the invasions of Sicily and Italy, D-Day and the invasion of Northwest Europe.
Many of the stylistic colour illustrations are based on familiar photographs from the Second World War. Canada at War avoids personal memoirs or emotional connection to the actual lives affected by war. The focus is on the Canadian soldiers' bravery and perseverance amid harsh and brutal conditions, minimizing criticisms of bad decisions or unnecessary loss of life. Overall the narrative is triumphant and patriotic.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2012-2013.