When The Story of Canada, Janet Lunn and Christopher Moore’s history book for children, was published in 1992, it was an unexpected success, selling more than 100,000 copies and receiving four children’s literature awards. Rights to the book have been in limbo for several years, following a string of reissues by various – now defunct – publishers, including original house Lunn, Lester & Orpen Dennys, Lester Books, and Key Porter, which issued several editions before licensing paperback rights to Scholastic Canada in 2009. It is Scholastic that will now bring the book back to shelves this fall, in time for Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017.
“This is a book named one of the best books for kids in Canada and it needs to continue to be available,” says Dean Cooke, the deal’s agent. “They’re going to give it a fresher look so it can continue to appeal to the market today. But that’s only because the basic substance is of such high quality.”
Diane Kerner, Scholastic’s vice-president of publishing, will helm the re-issue, working with Lunn and Moore to update both the text and design. The book’s closing two chapters will be revised to include more recent history, such as astronaut Chris Hadfield becoming the first Canadian to walk in space, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s response to the treatment of First Nations children in the residential school system, and the discovery of HMS Erebus.
The single-volume hardcover will also feature new artwork by Alan Daniel, the Kitchener, Ontario–based illustrator behind the original edition, along with additional photos.
“Obviously we hope and believe our new edition will have the same staying power,” Kerner says. “Though the book is aimed at ages 10 and up, we know it’s of interest to older teens and adults too. It’s the kind of book you keep revisiting.”