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Oh! Canada!

Greenhaven Press publishes an exhaustive number of books about contemporary social problems. Series titles include: At Issue, Issues That Concern You, Social Issues Firsthand, Issues on Trial, Current Controversies, Opposing Viewpoints, Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints, Global Viewpoints, Perspectives on Modern World History, etc. Topics cover everything from teenage pregnancy to drug abuse, human trafficking, and global warming.

This volume in the Opposing Viewpoints series makes me think they’re running out of ideas.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.



  1. Hmmm,
    at the risk of sounding un-Canadian (ie. opinionated), I’d like to suggest that your remark is Very American (ie. dismissive of the reality of an enormous country churning with daily controversy just north of the border). The chasm between the American perception of Canada and the Canadian perception of themselves – or of the United States – is about as opposing a viewpoint as could be imagined…

  2. Hi Marthe,
    Apologies — my comments weren’t intended to feed into the “isn’t Canada hilarious?” ethos; in many ways, I find that Canada kicks ass (so… what’s the Opposing Viewpoint? Canada stinks?). To me, context is what’s funny here. These (generally rather histrionic) series entries usually focus on specific social issues, so the subject matter seemed out of place here.

  3. I didn’t feel you were mocking Canada, or belittling it, merely not actually seeing it. The image of Canada most common in the States is based on some historical moment when we had a smart and sexy Prime Minister (Pierre Trudeau), when we happily welcomed draft dodgers along with millions of other immigrants, and when our health care system was actually working. That was a long, long time ago. It is hard to find Americans who have even visited Canada, let alone have a realistic knowledge about our politics (quick, who is our leader?), our weather, our capital cities, or our arts (though quite possibly our fiction writers are our widest-known ambassadors). I don’t mean to whine, but occasionally I get nettled by the… yes, Opposing Viewpoints between what exists within the country and the casual assumptions of the self-absorbed neighbours to the south.

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  1. Do you get it…

    After rubbing my head in wonder I have committed to get help in understanding this story….

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