Colonial Life


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
ISBN 0-86505-491-6
DDC j973.2




Reviewed by Christy Conte

Christy Conte is a business analyst and entrepreneur in Ajax, Ontario.


This is a juvenile reference work designed to provide the young reader
with an overview of life in the 13 colonies. For the most part, Colonial
Life is a pictorial history. Extensive use is made of photographs
(mostly from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation) and illustrations.
The photos are well chosen, depicting details of colonial fashion and
architecture. Chapters are short (two pages on average) and named to
reflect fairly standard social-studies categories (“The Colonial
Family,” “Men’s Clothing” “Travel, Transportation, and
Taverns,” and so forth).

Kalman’s discussion of slavery is sympathetic almost to a fault, if
such a thing is at all possible. Descriptions of the slave trade and of
slave culture, along with a fictionalized account of one slave’s
dismal life, are excellent and well within the scope of the book.
However well-intentioned, a final chapter on prejudice, containing
exhortations to change wrong thinking and behavior, lends an
uncharacteristically didactic air to an otherwise evenhanded treatment
of life in the colonies.


Kalman, Bobbie., “Colonial Life,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,