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Children's Nonfiction General

Digging Canadian History

by (author) Rebecca L. Grambo

Whitecap Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2011
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2011
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 11
  • Grade: 4


Canada's most remarkable historic treasures and events. What happened at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and how did it get its name? Where could you find oranges growing in Nova Scotia in the early 1800s? Digging Canadian History answers these questions and many more, revealing many astonishing facts and events from Canada's past. From a sunken steamboat to the discovery of a frozen man, this cross-country investigation visits every province and territory, stopping at places such as Red Bay, Labrador, and the Fall Caribou Crossing in Nunavut. Also included is a trivia collection of odd facts plus a resource guide on how to find further information. This engaging book demonstrates that Canada has a remarkable story to tell and it encourages children to discover more about the country's past. In fact, Canadian history can be so much fun that kids will ask for more.

About the author

Librarian Reviews

Digging Canadian History

How did Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump get its name? Did you know that whale ribs were used to build houses in the Canadian Arctic? Or that 95% of the Haida population was wiped out by diseases brought by Europeans? This book explores some of Canada’s unique historic events and treasures. The book begins with an explanation about who studies history (archeologists and anthropologists) and how they do it. A map of Canada pinpoints the places investigated in this book. From L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland to Skung Gwaii in BC’s Queen Charlotte Islands, Kuukpak in the Arctic to Draper Site in southern Ontario, twenty-one sites are visited. Sidebars include interesting facts. Includes suggested websites.

Rebecca L. Grambo is also the author of Lupé: A Wolf Pup’s First Year, winner of the 2004 Science in Society Children’s Book Award.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2006-2007.

Digging Canadian History

Let’s go back in time and unearth some historic sites, from Herschel Island and the Dawson Historical Complex in the northern Yukon to Louisbourg and L’Anse aux Meadows on the east coast. The book approaches these places as an archaeologist would, examining evidence from bygone times and describing how people would have lived there. We learn of a very old burial site on the coast of Labrador, L’Anse Amour that tells of people with sophisticated hunting skills and burial rituals. The Uniacke Estate, near Halifax, is a hothouse from the early nineteenth century that is open to visitors today. Some places, like Province House, PEI and Head- Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta, are popular tourist destinations. Others, like Kuukpak in the Northwest Territories and the Caribou Crossing in Nunavut, are a little off the beaten track and unknown to most adults and children.

There is a photograph or drawing of each place, some showing archaeologists at work. I would have liked more pictures, if only to get a better sense of the geography. The book includes an index and a list of websites for each of the sites. Each historic site is shown on a two-page map of Canada; unfortunately, the two Ontario sites are mixed up on the map. Apart from this error, the book provides a good introduction to some well-known and some lesser known places of Canadian history.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2006. Vol.29 No. 4.

Digging Canadian History

What is a ha-ha? How did Head- Smashed-In Buffalo Jump get its name? Grambo’s cross-country investigation chronicles some of Canada’s coolest historic treasures and events.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

Other titles by Rebecca L. Grambo