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HIST 1116 (Borys)

Critical Book Review: Assignment Overview

You are asked to write a critical book review on one of the following works of historical fiction:


In your review, compare how the author portrays the time period to what historians have written about the time period. Did the author portray the time period accurately? Why or why not?

Select two or three themes/topics from Canadian history and make a critical judgment (i.e. accurate or inaccurate) about how these have been explored or portrayed in the book. Themes/topics may include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • Gender
  • Class
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Important (or unimportant) events
  • The environment and nature
  • Clothing
  • Labour
  • Migration
  • Language
  • Religion
  • Warfare

This is not your opinion about whether or not the book is a good piece of fiction, but rather whether it presents history in an accurate or inaccurate way. Your argument can even be that it does both!

Your review should include at least one primary source and two secondary sources.

  • Primary sources are documents or other works created at the time of the event, often by someone who was present. Examples: diaries, speeches, letters, interviews, newspaper articles etc. 
  • Secondary sources are academic works that provide critical interpretation of historical events. Examples: Academic journal articles and academic books.

Cite your sources according to Chicago style.

Explore the pages of this guide for more details.