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Synopsis

Boys and Girls in No Man's Land examines how the First World War entered the lives and imaginations of Canadian children. Drawing on educational materials, textbooks, adventure tales, plays, and Sunday-school papers, this study explores the role of children in the nation's war effort.

Susan R. Fisher also considers how the representation of the war has changed in Canadian children's literature. During the war, the conflict was invariably presented as noble and thrilling, but recent Canadian children's books paint a very different picture. What once was regarded a morally uplifting struggle, rich in lessons of service and sacrifice, is now presented as pointless slaughter. This shift in tone and content reveals profound changes in Canadian attitudes not only towards the First World War but also towards patriotism, duty, and the shaping of the moral citizen.

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