Christy Jordan-Fenton

Christy Jordan-Fenton spent her early years on a farm near Rimbey, Alberta. It was common for her to find lambs, calves, and foals in the bathroom on early spring mornings. Brandings, cattle drives, and rodeos were regularly attended events. She moved with her mother and younger brother to Red Deer at the age of seven, and later to Sylvan Lake. Her favorite activities were (and still are) camping and dancing, and she has always loved horses and the mountains.

As a teenager, Christy moved to Orono, Ontario, to live with her aunt and uncle. She attended a rural high school with a population of five hundred students collected from six different communities. Her greatest accomplishments were composing volumes of poetry during math classes, and secretly reading nearly every book by Mordecai Richler during lectures.

Christy joined the infantry reserve in her final semester of high school and spent the next few years travelling from base to base. She was then accepted to Norwich University (VT) in the Corps of Cadets to study Peace, War and Diplomacy. While there, she was part of the Mountain Cold Weather Special Operations Company, played rugby, and often road crazy carpets down the school’s ski hill.

Christy was awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in her senior year to study at the University of Queensland in Australia. She then returned to the United States where she worked developing a leadership challenge program for disadvantaged youth, and taught wilderness survival; however, unable to shake the travel bug, she left to spend a year in South Africa. Her fondest memories are of reading stories to street children at night.

Western Canada eventually called her home. She travelled across the prairies working in the oil patch and riding bucking horses in the rodeo, before meeting her husband and settling down. They live on a farm outside Fort St. John, Britich Columbia, which they share with her mother-in-law Margaret (the main character in both Fatty Legs (2010) and A Stranger at Home (Fall 2011), three small children, three dogs, a llama, too many rogue rabbits to count, and enough horses to outfit a small town.

A desire to raise her children with a healthy sense of self-esteem rekindled her passion for Native issues. Having a Native step-father and step-siblings gave her an early awareness that she credits for igniting that passion. She is eternally grateful to Margaret for having the courage to share her residential school experiences and for giving her the chance to write abou them in not one, but two, books.

Christy’s work has appeared, or will appear, in Jones Ave, Prairie Fire, and an anthology entitled DiVerseCities 2. She is also a performing cowgirl poet and hopes to continue to tell stories that promote education, understanding, and healing.
A Stranger at Home
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
The powerful memoir of an Inuvialuit girl searching for her true self when she returns from residential school. Traveling to be reunited with her family in the Arctic, 10-year-old Margaret Pokiak can hardly contain her excitement. It's been two years since her parents delivered her to the school run by the dark-cloaked nuns and brothers. Coming ashore, Margaret spots her family, but her mother barely recognizes her, screaming, "Not my girl." Margaret realizes she is now marked as an outsider. And Margaret is an outsider: she has forgotten the language and stories of her people, and she can't even stomach the food her mother prepares. However, Margaret gradually relearns her language and her family's way of living. Along the way, she discovers how important it is to remain true to the ways of her people -- and to herself. Highlighted by archival photos and striking artwork, this first-person account of a young girl's struggle to find her place will inspire young readers to ask what it means to belong.

Sequel to Fatty Legs.
$12.95

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Etrangere chez moi
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
Margaret a dix ans et elle se réjouit à l’idée de rentrer à la maison après avoir passé deux ans dans un pensionnat. Mais quand elle retrouve enfin sa famille, sa mère ne la reconnaît pas et crie : « Pas ma fille! » Cet accueil n’est pas celui que Margaret espérait. Elle a oublié la langue de son peuple et a du mal à avaler la nourriture de sa mère. Margaret n’a même pas le droit de jouer avec son amie Agnès parce que les gens trouvent qu’elle ressemble trop aux étrangers détestés. Elle est devenue une étrangère parmi les siens.

Dans ce deuxième livre extraordinaire, Margaret dépeint le portrait de son apprentissage difficile pour retrouver sa place et réconcilier son ancienne personnalité avec la nouvelle.


Christy Jordan-Fenton vit à Fort St. John, en Colombie-Britannique, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton est sa belle-mère.

Margaret Pokiak-Fenton a passé son enfance sur l’Île Banks dans l’océan Arctique. Elle vit maintenant à Fort St. John, en Colombie-Britannique.

Liz Amini-Holmes est diplômée de l’Academy of Art College de San Francisco. Elle illustre des livres pour enfants et travaille pour différents journaux, magazines et entreprises qui oeuvrent notamment dans le domaine de l’éducation et du jeu. Elle vit à San Francisco, en Californie.
$16.99

Out of Print
Fatty Legs: A True Story
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
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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Les bas du pensionnat
Format: Paperback
Margaret Pokiak est une jeune Inuit de 8 ans. Son désir le plus cher est d'aller à l'école pour apprendre à lire, même s'il lui faut quitter son village arctique. Sa famille tente de la décourager, mais rien ne peut la faire changer d'avis et c'est à contrecoeur que son père consent enfin à la laisser partir.

Une fois à l'école, Margaret est confrontée à une religieuse cruelle dont le nez ressemble à un bec d'aigle. Dès les premiers jours, celle-ci s'en prend à la jeune fille qu'elle juge têtue et rebelle. Avec l'intention de l'humilier, elle lui confie les tâches les plus ardues et la force même à porter des bas rouges, qui lui font paraître les jambes énormes, alors que toutes les autres pensionnaires portent des bas gris. Margaret travaille dur tout en rêvant au jour où elle pourra enfin quitter le pensionnat pour ne plus jamais y remettre les pieds...

Incluant des photos d'archives de Margaret Pokiak-Fenton et des illustrations éloquentes de l'artiste Liz Amini-Holmes, ce livre est le témoignage émouvant d'une jeune fille déterminée à réussir dans l'adversité.
$16.99

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Not My Girl
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
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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When I Was Eight
Content Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
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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