Canadian Women Now and Then: More than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers by Elizabeth MacLeod & Maia Faddoul

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will published April 7, 2020, by Kids Can Press.

You should preorder it.

This book is teaming with fabulous Canadian women, all who have achieved greatness in one way or another.

It is organized into categories that are arranged alphabetically. These groupings include artists, athletes, doctors, environmentalists, lawyers, poets, politicians and many more. Each category highlights at least two women: a one page biography of a woman who was a groundbreaker in her field, (then) and a one page biography of a woman renowned for her work in the same field today (now). Each is accompanied by a realistic colour portrait by Maia Faddoul. Some categories add another woman who fits both of these criteria. Most of the categories have an information box that lists other important women in that field. The book finishes with ten more pages of shorter biographies of additional inspirational women. The back matter includes a timeline of important dates in Canadian Women’s History, a bibliography and an index.

I liked the layout a lot. The categories are colour coordinated. The clean lines in Maia Faddoul's illustrations add just the right touch of extra colour. I also liked the straightforward writing style. It was a joy to read.

Susan Olivia Poole
What I appreciated most about this book is that it highlights the diversity of women in our country. Some are indigenous, some are immigrants and others are children of immigrants. There are women from different cultural and religious backgrounds. They represent different abilities, sexual orientations and gender expectations. They all contribute to, or contributed to making this country a better place for all of us. One woman I wish I could thank for her work is Susan Olivia Poole who invented the jolly jumper. She was the first Indigenous woman to receive a Canadian patent in 1957. I really appreciated having one when my sons were young, and my grandkids both loved theirs when they were babies. I'm sure that parents around the world agree with me.

As much as I enjoyed reading about all of these women, I have to admit that this book makes me feel old. While some of these 'then' women are from the distant past, some from the now and then categories are about my age!

I would like to see this book in all school and public libraries in Canada. (and in other countries too) It’s a fabulous reference book to use as a start to do more research. As well as providing mentor text for students writing their own essays about important people in their lives, it provides role models for how they can become successful individuals in their own right.

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