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Canada at War: A Graphic History of World War Two Paperback – May 4 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Canada at War: A Graphic History of World War Two + Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day, The Allied Invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe + Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood (A World War I Tale)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre (May 4 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553655966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553655961
  • Product Dimensions: 26.4 x 20.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Canada At War came in an order of several other 20th century war related graphic.

On nearly all accounts, Canada At War ranks near the bottom.

The mix of illustration / digital colouring / font choices compare very poorly in terms of aesthetics when compared to similar graphic novels. The book appears almost hastily completed. But. Of course, I didn't buy the graphic novel just for that.

Canada At War proclaims to emphasize the human dimension of World War II. Well, many specific figures are mentioned in the book, however two panels for LT-Colonel Cecil Merritt is insufficient to tell any meaningful tale about Merritt's heroics, or for a reader to make any emotional connection to the Victoria Cross recipient. The human element advertised is typically only a mention of what a human did, lacking in any context, or even any true narrative. Throughout the book specific details regarding equipment, generals and soldiers are included, but given short shrift and instead of enhancing, distract from any attempt at a coherent narrative.

As an informational text as well, Canada At War feels disjointed, and unsystematic of its treatment of typical World War II topics. Compared to other war related graphic novels, it does not compare. Take for example Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales WWI edition. The exposition of the causes of WWI is delightful, yet in-depth. It is clear, humorous and easy to follow. Canada At War's exposition of the causes of WWII is, um, none of these.

I will place it in my classroom for a keen student to pick it up, but I would not use it directly in my classroom, and for light reading it fails to provided much stimulation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fenna Hersberger on June 4 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was very appealing and appropriate for the keen 9 year old historian I purchased it for. Although I was nervous about the "graphic" part it is real history. I learned a lot about the Canadian contribution to WW2. It also helped me understand the reasons for the war and the timeline of events. The art is great.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 3 2012
Format: Paperback
I downloaded this graphic history to my iPad and applaud the author and illustrator for their efforts. This is an entertaining and educational reminder of the incredible sacrifices and accomplishments Canada's armed forces contributed during The Second World War. It should be required reading for all grade school students who will enjoy the format's striking imagery and content. Of course, it must be considered an introductory overview as it does not provide a detailed history but all key aspects are present: Atlantic convoys, wartime production, Dieppe, the home front, Ortona, D-Day, the liberation of Holland. Canada fielded a force of over 1 million out of a population of 10 million with 42,000 deaths. Amazingly, the country efficiently and effectively mobilized for war and once it was over quickly de-mobilized (some might argue too quickly and too dramatically). Canadians must continue to understand and honour their military history - this is a fine contribution to that effort.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bruce on Oct. 29 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to teach my daughters a bit about Canada's participation in World War II. This book is less of a "comic" and much more a "graphic novel", which is ideal for instructing. My daughter read it with interest.

I thought it was well written. Obviously you can only hit the highlights when you are using this format, but what was there was very good.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Schecky on Aug. 22 2012
Format: Paperback
Unlike more prominent historical graphic "novels" in recent years, CANADA AT WAR is not being pitched at the literary comics market, but at the educational/library market. Which is fine, aside from the fact that the book seems so cynically crafted to cash in on the "graphic novel" craze amongst educators and librarians.

The author himself writes, on his website, "we have to adapt to changing times, while doing what we can to retain and strengthen the best of traditional ways." Ignoring the fact that there's nothing "new" about comics (which have been around in their modern form for well over a century), he should have done what he could to embrace the "new" ways. Because CANADA AT WAR has none of the subtlety and depth of contemporary comics. It is, in fact, much more like simply a heavily-illustrated book, with long narrative captions describing a piece of history, atop an illustration depicting that very thing. There is no interplay, ironic or otherwise, between word and image, no subtext, no nuance to the characters' "performances," no refined sense of timing, or any of the things that have made graphic novels the popular publishing phenomenon that the authors so desperately desire to be part of.

I admire any effort to bring history to a mass audience, and to young people in particular. But the impact would be so much greater were the medium (which is such an expressive one) being used well. It isn't, here. Historical comics, and non-fiction war comics in particular, are anything but "new." There are many terrific examples of each. If you're an educator looking for something informative AND artful, I'd try one of them, instead.
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