Additional Literature Resources

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Fatty Legs: A True Story
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
, 2010
  • In 2011-2012, Fatty Legs: A True Story was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact.

    Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools.

    At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls, all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school.

    In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity.

    Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's collection and striking artworks from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.

$12.95

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My Name is Seepeetza
Traditional Territory: Interior Salish
Format: Paperback
, 1992
  • Told in diary form, this autobiographical novel about a sixth-grade Native girl tells of her heartbreak at the terrible conditions at her school where she is persecuted because of her race.

$10.95

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When I Was Eight
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
, 2013
  • Nothing will stop a strong-minded young Inuit girl from learning how to read.

    Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. She must travel to the outsiders' school to learn, ignoring her father's warning of what will happen there.

    The nuns at the school take her Inuit name and call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do chores. She has only one thing left -- a book about a girl named Alice, who falls down a rabbit hole.

    Margaret's tenacious character draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But she is more determined than ever to read.

    By the end, Margaret knows that, like Alice, she has traveled to a faraway land and stood against a tyrant, proving herself to be brave and clever.

    Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by stunning illustrations, When I Was Eight makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to young children. Now they, too, can meet this remarkable girl who reminds us what power we hold when we can read.

$9.95

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