Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 6
- Grade: 5
British Columbia's colourful story has been told many times, but until now no one has attempted to relate the chronicle specifically for young readers. From the gold rush to the Gumboot Navy and from "brideships" to W.A.C. Bennett, BC history comes alive in this highly illustrated and vivid account by award-winning writer and historian Daniel Francis.
Starting with the story of BC's aboriginal people and their lives prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Far West recounts first contact with early explorers such as Captain James Cook and Captain George Vancouver and the changes the fur trade brought to the "New World." Francis then describes how BC was born, starting with the gold rush and Confederation eras, going through to modern times and speculating on BC's future.
On the way we meet interesting characters from BC's history, people such as Frances Barkley, the first European woman to visit British Columbia in 1787; Joe Capilano, who travelled to London, England, in 1906 to explain to the British king how BC's aboriginal people were displaced by white settlers; and Rosemary Brown, a Vancouver social worker who was the first black woman elected to political office in Canada in 1972.
Quotes from BC people--past and present--and anecdotal sidebars containing little-known BC facts spice up the text. Geared toward readers aged nine and up and richly illustrated with archival photographs, colourful paintings, maps and original illustrations, Far West is a must-have for every BC family.
About the author
Daniel Francis is an historian and the author/editor of more than twenty books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture , National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver (winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award), Seeing Reds: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada's First War on Terror and Imagining Ourselves: Classics of Canadian Non-Fiction. His other books include A Road for Canada, Red Light Neon: A History of Vancouver's Sex Trade, Copying People: Photographing British Columbia First Nations 1860-1940, The Great Chase: A History of World Whaling, New Beginnings: A Social History of Canada, and the popular Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He is also a regular columnist in Geist magazine, and was shortlisted for Canada's History Pierre Berton Award in 2010. Daniel lives in North Vancouver, BC.
Far West: The Story of British ColumbiaThis chronological high-interest book provides an overview of the events and people of BC from the first peoples to modern times. Included is information on the Aboriginal people, fur traders, the gold rushes, building the railway, the Confederation union, use of the natural resources, economic and demographic growth in the province and the boom time after World War II. The nine chapters are divided by subheadings making it possible to read it in portions for pertinent information, research or interest. It is filled with colourful graphics and numerous sidebars. The book could also be used as a classroom textbook.
Francis, a Canadian historian, is the editor of the Encyclopedia of British Columbia, contributing editor for the Junior Encyclopedia of Canada, as well as the author of many textbooks and numerous books.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.
Far West: The Story of British ColumbiaA glorious introduction to British Columbia’s history – from the gold rush to W.A.C. Bennett – written in easy-tounderstand language by one of BC’s favourite historians.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.
Other titles by Daniel Francis
Where Mountains Meet the Sea
An Illustrated History of the District of North Vancouver
Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars
Immigrants, soldiers, tourists, and the building of our nation
Trucking in British Columbia
An Illustrated History
A Road for Canada
The Illustrated Story of the Trans-Canada Highway
Who Killed Janet Smith?
The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada's First War on Terror
Imagining British Columbia
Land, Memory, and Place
Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales