Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Who knew that our first Prime Minister's wife was such a formidable woman? Or that Manitoba had a haunted horse? Or that Nova Scotia had its very own Noah's Ark? These are just some of the stories author Elma Schemenauer shares in her book YesterCanada.
These historical tales of my country had me enthralled from the first page and I wondered why I had never heard about them in school when I was growing up. I mean, who wouldn't want to know that Sir John A MacDonald's wife perched herself on the cowcatcher of a train just to get a better view of what was up ahead? Or that her husband, much to the horror of those in charge of his safety, joined her?
The author has included factual stories as well as folklore, that I found incredibly intriguing. This will be a book that I recommend to many and hope that it is one that ends up in Canadian schools everywhere as "required reading". I wasn't even going to read this book because of the cover, but when I read the back story and another reviewer's opinion of it, I knew I had to read it. And that is the one thing I fear will keep people from reading this book - the cover - and that would be a shame, because this is one book every Canadian should read.
Reviewer: Kelly Miller
I enjoyed this book so much more that I thought would be possible. I was a student who despised History class through all my school years, finding it dull as dirt, however, when I read the back cover synopsis of this book, I was intrigued.
All I can say is, it would be wonderful if all history educators used this book, YesterCanada – Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure, in their classes. History would be SO MUCH FUN!
Such an exciting and amazing trip through unknown and little known facts about Canada and the mysterious, wild, brave and arguably crazy people who lived here. From a Prime Minister's wife riding on cow catchers, all the way to unmanned ships sailing alone, this book is a page turner from beginning to end.
Despite the fact that the cover itself, sadly, does not draw you to the book, the contents very quickly make you forget that from the outside it looks like one of those uninteresting school books that we were forced to read.
Elma Schemenauer presented each tale in an easy to read manner that instantly drew me into the stories. Many times I didn't want the story to end and just as many times, I found myself on my computer looking up more historic details that surrounded these accounts. I couldn't put the book down, and I haven't stopped sharing these historic tales with family and friends since.
I highly recommend this book for history and non history lovers everywhere.