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Boom Kids

Growing Up in the Calgary Suburbs, 1950-1970

By James A. Onusko
Subjects Cultural Studies, History, Canadian History
Series Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada Hide Details
Hardcover : 9781771124980, 232 pages, July 2021

Table of contents

Table of Contents
1. Mapping Suburbia
2. Bombs, Boom and the Classroom
3. Diversity Deficit and Working Days
4. The Serious Business of Play
5. Healthy Minds in Healthy Bodies
6. Things That Go Bump in the Night

A snapshot of kids growing up in postwar suburbia.


The baby boomers and postwar suburbia remain a touchstone. For many, there is a belief that it has never been as good for youngsters and their families, as it was in the postwar years. Boom Kids explores the triumphs and challenges of childhood and adolescence in Calgary’s postwar suburbs.

The boomers’ impact on fifties and sixties Canadian life is unchallenged; social and cultural changes were made to meet their needs and desires. While time has passed, this era stands still in time—viewed as an idyllic period when great hopes and relative prosperity went hand in hand for all.

Boom Kids is organized thematically, with chapters focusing on: suburban spaces; the Cold War and its impact on young people; ethnicity, “race,” and work; the importance of play and recreation; children’s bodies, health and sexuality; and "the night," resistances and delinquency. Reinforced throughout this manuscript is the fact that children and adolescents were not only affected by their suburban experiences, but that they influenced the adult world in which they lived.

Oral histories from former community members and archival materials, including school-based publications, form the backbone for a study that demonstrates that suburban life was diverse and filled with rich experiences for youngsters.