Reading Connections

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Welcome to Reading Connections!
Our thanks to Brenda Boreham for writing these fantastic lesson plans for Strong Nations!

Click on the SUB-CATEGORY to see each reading connection category. You will find several titles that have been selected to specifically to connect with teaching reading comprehension through the use of 6 learning strategies for both fiction and non-fiction. Some of the selected titles also include a free downloadable lesson plan.

Please visit our Educators page for more information.


Mouse Celebrates the Winter Solstice - ON SALE
Content Territory: Kwakwaka'wakw
Format: Paperback

It is winter. The land lies still, quiet and stark beneath a blanket of snow. The tiny footprints of a mouse can be seen in the light of the moon.

"Wrapped in the quiet, and there in the bleak, there stood a wise mouse, preparing to speak."

The words that mouse chose were from many years past. She spoke them into the cold night air. So begins the enchanting story of a very special Winter Solstice celebration.

Kwakwaka’wakw author Terri Mack and Tsimshian artist Bill Helin have collaborated to bring us this story of strength, friendship and celebration. The lyrical text and engaging illustrations will appeal to readers of all ages.

Author's note:
Gila'kasla!
I spent a year writing and rewriting this poem to be sure to convey the message clearly to my audience. It was important to me that the poem reflect the importance of us all joining together to find the sacredness in celebration, the joy of belonging within a greater community and the voice of determination inside of each of us. Inspired by Indigenous Peoples rising, healing and joining together I hope that this poem inspires our youth to be strong and determined in all their future goals.
~Terri Mack

Additional Information
24 pages | 9" x 12" | ISBN: 9781771740555

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$7.48

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A Coyote Columbus Story
Content Territory: Native American
Format: Paperback

A trickster named Coyote rules her world, until a funny-looking stranger named Columbus changes her plans. Unimpressed by the wealth of moose, turtles, and beavers in Coyote' s land, he' d rather figure out how to hunt human beings to sell back in Spain. Thomas King uses a bag of literary tricks to shatter the stereotypes surrounding Columbus' s voyages. In doing so, he invites children to laugh with him at the crazy antics of Coyote, who unwittingly allows Columbus to engineer the downfall of his human friends. William Kent Monkman's vibrant illustrations perfectly complement this amusing story with a message.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
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$9.95

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A Coyote Solstice Tale
Artists:
Gary Clement
Content Territory: Cherokee
Format: Hardcover

Coyote is having friends over for a little solstice party in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the friends through the snowy woods to the mall -- a place they had never seen before. The trickster goes crazy with glee as he shops with abandon, only to discover that filling a shopping cart with goodies is not quite the same thing as actually paying for them.

Authentic Indigenous Text
$14.95

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A Native American Thought of It
Format: Paperback

Inventiveness and ingenuity from North America's First Nations.

Everyone knows that moccasins, canoes and toboggans were invented by the Aboriginal people of North America, but did you know that they also developed their own sign language, as well as syringe needles and a secret ingredient in soda pop?

Depending on where they lived, Aboriginal communities relied on their ingenuity to harness the resources available to them. Some groups, such as the Iroquois, were particularly skilled at growing and harvesting food. From them, we get corn and wild rice, as well as maple syrup.

Other groups, including the Sioux and Comanche of the plains, were exceptional hunters. Camouflage, fish hooks and decoys were all developed to make the task of catching animals easier. And even games-lacrosse, hockey and volleyball -- have Native American roots.

Other clever inventions and innovations include:

* Diapers
* Asphalt
* Megaphones
* Hair conditioner
* Surgical knives
* Sunscreen.

With descriptive photos and information-packed text, this book explores eight different categories in which the creativity of First Nations peoples from across the continent led to remarkable inventions and innovations, many of which are still in use today.

Series Information
This book is a part of the We Thought of It series, a series which takes readers on a fascinating journey across the world's second largest continent to discover how aspects of its culture have spread around the globe.

Additional Information
48 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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A Promise Is A Promise
Artists:
Vladyana Krykorka
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback

Contrary to her mothers advice, Allashua decides to challenge the Qallupilluit, an imaginary Inuit character who lives under the sea ice near her home. After a surprising turn of events, the entire family is now free to fish on the ice because legend tells that children with their parents may never be captured, and a "promise is a promise."

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$7.95

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A River Lost
Authors:
Lynn Bragg
Content Territory: Sinixt
Format: Paperback

A River Lost is the familiar story of an ancient culture infringed upon and altered forever by modern technology. It is the story of how the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam led to the destruction of a way of life for members of the Arrow Lakes Tribe. Sinee mat and her great-grandmother Toopa tell the engaging story of life on the Columbia River, before and after the dam.

Additional Information

32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

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A River Ran Wild
Authors:
Lynne Cherry
Format: Paperback

A River Ran Wild is the True Story of the History, the Polluting and the Clean-up of the Nashua River.

From the author of the beloved classic The Great Kapok Tree, A River Ran Wild tells a story of restoration and renewal. Learn how the modern-day descendants of the Nashua Indians and European settlers were able to combat pollution and restore the beauty of the Nashua River in Massachusetts.

$10.99

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A Salmon for Simon
Authors:
Betty Waterton
Artists:
Ann Blades
Content Territory: First Nations
Format: Paperback

B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: Gr.1-Life Science

Winner of the Governor General's award and the Canadian Library Association's Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon
Illustrator's award when it was first published in 1979.

This simple story of a boy and a fish delivers a subtle environmental message that will resonate with readers. Simon, a native boy, has been trying all summer to catch a salmon. He's about to give up when a bald eagle suddenly drops a big coho into a clam hole right before his eyes. But when Simon discovers that the salmon is alive, he no longer wants to keep it. It's too strong and beautiful. He'd rather set it free, which means he has to figure out how to get the heavy fish back to the ocean.

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.63" x 8.75"

Authentic Canadian Content
$6.95

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A Team Like No Other
Authors:
Georgia Graham
Format: Paperback
Shining Willow Award winner 2006
A 2005 Alberta Children''s Book of the Year Nominee
OLA Best Bets Selection, 2004
CBC Radio One Sounds Like Canada Recommended Title
Canadian Children''s Book Centre Our Choice selection
"Mush," shouted Stephen - and they were off. The wilderness, adventure and the thrill of near disaster - they''re all present in this moving tale of a boy and his dog. Stephen and his dad enjoy dog sledding in the mountains with their team of eight beautiful huskies. But pleasure almost turns to tragedy when Stephen finds himself alone on the sled as the dogs race toward the cliff''s edge. Disaster seems certain. But Stephen''s faith in Skoki, his lead dog, is rewarded when she averts disaster with moments to spare. Skoki''s trust in Stephen makes the two of them a team like no other. A Team Like No Other is a story of love and friendship set in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The knowledge that Stephen and Skoki can always count on each other brings depth to this simple story of a boy and his dog.


$9.95

Out of Print
Alego
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Hardcover

Alego is a beautifully simple story, written in Inuktitut and English, about a young Inuit girl who goes to the shore with her grandmother to collect clams for supper. Along the way she discovers tide pools brimming with life -- a bright orange starfish, a creepy-crawly thing with many legs called an ugjunnaq, a hornshaped sea snail and a sculpin.

Written and illustrated by Ningeokuluk Teevee, one of the most interesting young artists in Cape Dorset, home to the great tradition of Inuit art, this is an enchanting and utterly authentic introduction to the life of an Inuit child and her world.

Educator Information
Alego includes an illustrated glossary of sea creatures as well as a map of Baffin Island. Ages 4-7.

This book is delivered in a dual-language format, written in Inuktitut and English.

Additional Information
24 pages | 7.63" x 9.63"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$17.95

In Re-Print
Arctic Stories
Artists:
Vladyana Krykorka
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback

Acclaimed Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak weaves a tapestry of tales about ten-year-old Agatha and her accidental heroism in the high Arctic of 1958. The first of Agatha''s stories is based on one of Kusugak''s real life experiences, when an eerie, black airship flew over Chesterfield Inlet in 1958. A sleepy Agatha "saves" the community from the monstrous flying object.

In the second story, Agatha notices the playful antics of the winter ravens and takes an interest in the many migrating birds. As the seasons change, she begins to favor more beautiful and peaceful birds of spring, until the ravens return.

The third of Agatha''s stories takes place in the fall when Agatha is sent to school in Chesterfield Inlet, an English-speaking community south of her home. During an afternoon of skating, Agatha rescues a show-off priest, who has inadvertently demonstrated the danger of thin ice.

The three Agatha stories resonate with the nostalgia and affection of Kusugak''s childhood memories.

Reviews
"This collection of three tales, set in Repulse Bay, features an endearing 10-year-old heroine, named Agatha, through whose eyes the reader experiences life in the high Arctic.... The author weaves a tapestry of simply told stories, each of which, by skilful use of detail, manages to bring to life the experience of growing up in a small Inuit community.... Vladyana Krykorka's paintings give the reader a beautifully detailed rendition of the Arctic landscape in every season. Her depictions of Kusugak's human and animal characters are wonderfully satisfying, full of life and humour.... [They] complement the text brilliantly.... The beauty of Kusugak's work lies in his ability to evoke for his southern readers a vivid picture of a way of life that is fast disappearing. Arctic Tales will be a welcome addition to the resources that teachers and librarians look for as they plan their units on the Arctic and the Inuit. The book's Grade-three reading level should guarantee its popularity among young students doing projects on Inuit life. Recommended."— Valerie Nielsen, Canadian Materials, October 1999

 
"Vivid and engaging... This collection of stories captures a feeling for a transitional time in the Inuit culture and history and resonates with the storyteller's art" — Canadian Teacher, June 2013
 
Additional Information
40 pages | 8.25" x 10.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$7.95

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Avati: Discovering Arctic Ecology
Authors:
Mia Pelletier
Artists:
Sara Otterst├Ątter
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback

The Arctic is not a barren, frigid landscape filled with only ice and snow. It is a complex ecosystem that contains many thriving habitats, each supported by dozens of ecological relationships between plants and animals.

From the many animals that live and hunt at the floe edge, to the hundreds of insects that abound on the summer tundra, this book gives a detailed bird's-eye view of the fascinating ways that animals, plants, and insects co-exist in the Arctic ecosystem.

Written by Mia Pelletier, a biologist and wilderness field researcher, and complete with a glossary to clearly explain biological terms to young readers, this book provides a sound informational basis to understanding the Arctic ecosystem in all its facets.

Reviews

"An ecologist who lives and works in Earth’s far, far north describes the changing seasons in the part of the world the Inuit call Nunavut—“our land.” Weaving together information about the land and water, plants and animals, Pelletier provides a clear depiction of an Arctic environment. Unlike some introductions to this part of the world, this account presents a full web of life. Her food chain begins with the tiny algae underneath the sea ice. From diatoms and amphipods to the fish, birds, insects and mammals that inhabit the land and the sea edges of this environment (avati in Inuit), she connects them to one another, to the plants of the brief summer and to the changing stages of ice. She doesn’t hesitate to introduce new vocabulary (defined in a concluding glossary), Inuit words (defined in context) and onomatopoetic sounds. What appear to be pencil-and-watercolor illustrations extend far across the gutters. Appropriately matched with the text, set in a column on the right-hand side of each spread, they reward careful inspection. Teachers and librarians may want to pair this useful title with A Walk on the Tundra, by Rebecca Hainnu and Anna Ziegler." - Kirkus Review

Additional Information
45 pages | 10.25" x 8.25"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
$14.95

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Baseball Bats for Christmas
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback

A unique glimpse of childhood in the Arctic by an acclaimed Inuit storyteller.

The year is 1955 and Arvaarluk and his friends watch as Rocky Parsons lands his plane on the ice in Repulse Bay, a tiny community “smack dab on the Arctic Circle.” Having never seen trees before, the children try to guess what the six green spindly things are that Rocky delivers. One of the boys has a brilliant idea: why not use them as baseball bats?

Full of vibrant, richly-colored illustrations, this story introduces young readers to a time, place, and culture that may be new to them. The Arctic way of life is realistically portrayed by the author, whose narrative voice resonates with the lilt of his native language. Readers will be able to listen to Michael telling the story by connecting to a link given in the book. The illustrator spent time in the Arctic to ensure that her artwork was a faithful representation of the people and places in the story. With its winter landscapes and Christmas scenes, this would make an ideal holiday gift book.

Educator Information
Guided Reading Level: Fountas and Pinnell P

Themes: Inuit; Arctic; community; multicultural; friends; resourcefulness.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.25" x 10.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Berry Magic
Artists:
Teri Sloat
Content Territory: Yupik
Format: Paperback

Long ago, the only berries on the tundra were hard, tasteless, little crowberries. As Anana watches the ladies complain bitterly while picking berries for the Fall Festival, she decides to use her magic to help. "Atsa-ii-yaa (Berry), Atsa-ii-yaa (Berry), Atsaukina!" (Be a berry!), Anana sings under the full moon turning four dolls into little girls that run and tumble over the tundra creating patches of fat, juicy berries: blueberries, cranberries, salmonberries, and raspberries. The next morning Anana and the ladies fill basket after basket with berries for the Fall Festival. Thanks to Anana, there are plenty of tasty berries for the agutak (Eskimo tee cream) at the festival and forevermore. As she did with THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE (praised by the New York Times Book Review, a San Francisco Chronicle Choice, and a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Picture Book Award winner), Yup'ik Eskimo elder Betty Huffmon shared this folktale with author/illustrator Teri Sloat, who brings it to life with her delightful illustrations.

Reviews
“Sloat collaborates with Huffmon, a Yup'ik storyteller, to infuse a traditional ‘origins’ tale with the joy of creating. Hearing the old women of her village grumble that they have only tasteless crowberries for the fall feast’s akutaq—described as ‘Eskimo ice cream,’ though the recipe at the end includes mixing in shredded fish and lard—young Anana carefully fashions three dolls, then signs and dances them to life. Away the bound, to cover the hills with cranberries, blueberries, and salmonberries. Sloat dresses her smiling figures in mixes of furs and brightly patterned garb, and sends them tumbling exuberantly through grassy tundra scenes as wildlife large and small gathers to look on. . . . Young readers will be captivated by the action, and by Anana’s infectious delight.”— Kirkus Reviews

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.32" x 9.90"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story
Content Territory: Lakota, Oglala Lakota
Format: Hardcover

Told from the Native American point of view, Black Elk’s Vision provides a unique perspective on American history. From recounting the visions Black Elk had as a young boy, to his involvement in the battles of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee, as well as his journeys to New York City and Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, this biographical account of Black Elk—an Oglala-Lakota medicine man (1863–1950)—follows him from childhood through adulthood.

S. D. Nelson tells the story of Black Elk through the medicine man’s voice, bringing to life what it was like to be Native American in the mid-to-late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The Native people found their land overrun by the Wha-shi-choos, or White Man, the buffalo slaughtered for sport and to purposely eliminate their main food source, and their people gathered onto reservations. Through it all, Black Elk clung to his childhood visions that planted the seeds to help his people—and all people—understand their place in the circle of life. The book includes archival images, a timeline, a bibliography, an index, and Nelson’s signature art.

Reviews
“A fine choice for story hours, this will also find wide curricular use.” —Booklist
 
“A modern-day story in the Sioux tradition of storytelling.” —Winston-Salem Journal
 
“Splendid acrylic artwork captures the action, humor, and spirit of the tale. A solid addition to collections of Native American tales and an enjoyable read-aloud.” —School Library Journal
 
“Nelson pulls it off with his confident style as a storyteller . . . polished illustrations . . . informative, well written.” —Kirkus Reviews

Educator Information
F&P level: U
F&P genre: B

Additional Information
48 pages | 10.50" x 10.37"

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$26.95

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