Literature Circles

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A Stranger at Home
Traditional 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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Belle of Batoche
Format: Paperback
  • Belle, an 11-year-old Métis girl, and Sarah, both want the coveted job of church bell ringer. An embroidery contest is held to award the position, and Sarah cheats. Before Belle can expose her, the two are caught up in the advancing forces of General Middleton and his troops as they surround Batoche in the 1885 Riel Rebellion. The church bell disappeared that day and remains missing to this day.

$7.95

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Cheyenne Again
Format: Paperback
  • In the late 1880s, a Cheyenne boy named Young Bull is taken from his parents and sent to a boarding school to learn the white man's ways. "Young Bull's struggle to hold on to his heritage will touch children''s sense of justice and lead to some interesting discussions and perhaps further research.

$10.99

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Dear Canada: These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens
Format: Hardcover
  • Acclaimed author Ruby Slipperjack delivers a haunting novel about a 12-year-old girl's experience at a residential school in 1966.

    Violet Pesheens is struggling to adjust to her new life at residential school. She misses her Grandma; she has run-ins with Cree girls; at her "white" school, everyone just stares; and everything she brought has been taken from her, including her name-she is now just a number. But worst of all, she has a fear. A fear of forgetting the things she treasures most: her Anishnabe language; the names of those she knew before; and her traditional customs. A fear of forgetting who she was.

    Her notebook is the one place she can record all of her worries, and heartbreaks, and memories. And maybe, just maybe there will be hope at the end of the tunnel.

    Drawing from her own experiences at residential school, Ruby Slipperjack creates a brave, yet heartbreaking heroine in Violet, and lets young readers glimpse into an all-too important chapter in our nation's history.

$16.99

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Flying With the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear: Tales From Native North America
Author: Joseph Bruchac
Format: Paperback
  • "Flying with the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear" is a continent-spanning collection of 16 thrilling tales in which young Native American men must face great enemies, find strength and endurance within themselves to succeed, and take their place by the side of their elders.

$12.95

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Ghost of Spirit Bear
Author: Ben Mikaelsen
Format: Paperback
  • In the wilderness, Cole found peace. But this isn't the great outdoors. it's high school.

    At fifteen, Cole Matthews faced a prison sentence for slamming another student's head against a sidewalk. To avoid prison, he volunteered for Native American Circle Justice and agreed to a year in exile on a remote Alaskan island. There he was mauled by the legendary Spirit Bear and nearly faced death . . . but finally found redemption.

    Now, his banishment over, he has to return home and face the one thing he may not be able to handle: high school. Gangs haunt the hallways. Cole finds violence at every turn and as the hate-filled school reaches its boiling point, the hibernating rage inside Cole begins to stir. In this tale of urban survival and self-awareness, Cole realizes it's not enough to change himself. He has to change his world.

$7.99

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Island Kids
Author: Tara Saracuse
Format: Paperback
  • This is a history of British Columbia's island children, told in their voices, from their perspectives. Composed of twenty-two stories, Island Kids is a snapshot of a period and place in time. The topics range from quintessentially coastal experiences, like a day at the beach, to stories that deal with serious issues, such as BC's history of residential schools, but they all remain true to the experience of the children telling the story. At the end of each chapter is a section called "What do we know for sure?" that gives the reader greater depth and context. The stories are written in a dynamic and authentic voice and are aimed at readers aged eight to twelve.

    Unlike history that has either been fictionalized or told from an adult's perspective, the Courageous Kids series brings history to kids in their own words. Truly original, Kidmonton, Rocky Mountain Kids, and Island Kids strive to communicate the events and emotions of kids.

$12.95

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Muskrat Will Be Swimming
Author: Cheryl Savageau
Format: Paperback
  • This is a quiet tale of a Native American girl who, with gentle guidance from her grandfather, learns to find strength, not fear, in her identity as a Native person living in an Anglo society. Beautifully illustrated and complete with a Seneca creation story, Muskrat Will Be Swimming demonstrates how the ancient stories of Native American cultures are used to help today's children find their way in the world. It is a treasure for all who have ever dealt with the fear of being different.

$9.95

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My Name is Seepeetza
Traditional Territory: Interior Salish
Format: Paperback
  • 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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No Time to Say Goodbye
Traditional Territory: Tsartlip
Format: Paperback
  • Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School
    with Rita Morris and Ann Sam

    No Time to Say Goodbye is a fictional account of five children sent to aboriginal boarding school, based on the recollections of a number of Tsartlip First Nations people. These unforgettable children are taken by government agents from Tsartlip Day School to live at Kuper Island Residential School. The five are isolated on the small island and life becomes regimented by the strict school routine. They experience the pain of homesickness and confusion while trying to adjust to a world completely different from their own. Their lives are no longer organized by fishing, hunting and family, but by bells, line-ups and chores. In spite of the harsh realities of the residential school, the children find adventure in escape, challenge in competition, and camaraderie with their fellow students.

$9.95

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Northern Kids
Author: Linda Goyette
Format: Paperback
  • Children and teenagers experience Canada's North in a way that adults do not. They have shaped its history, and yet how often are they asked to tell its story? Northern Kids is a collection of tales about the unforgettable young people of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and remote regions of the western provinces. Based on personal interviews and thorough archival research, each true story is narrated in the voice of a young northerner. Travel along with these kids as they hunt for caribou or hidden gold, mush a dogsled team, climb over the Chilkoot Pass, float down the Yukon River on a homemade raft, and explore the Arctic tundra through every season. While Northern Kids celebrates the independent spirit of young north erners-their wilderness skills, sense of humour and love of fun-it also takes an unflinching look at their hardships. At the end of each story, a section called "What do we know for sure?" offers the reader detail and historical context. This is the fourth book in the Courageous Kids series, which includes Kidmonton: True Stories of River City Kids, Rocky Mountain Kids, Island Kids, and now Northern Kids.

$12.95

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Rocky Mountain Kids
Author: Linda Goyette
Format: Paperback
  • With careful research and imagination, author Linda Goyette has created a collection of 25 stories based on the true stories of named children of the past and present.

    Too often the youngest Canadians are erased from our historical memory. Rocky Mountain Kids provides firstperson creative non-fiction narratives from the region's children, many of whom went on to be influential adults. In the style of its successful predecessor, Kidmonton, these are lively and entertaining stories, but they don't flinch in their description of hardship and heroism. Balanced and well-researched, Goyette writes of First Nations, Métis, immigrant and settler children as well as contemporary kids of the Rockies, with informative postscript to help readers distinguish between the fact and the fiction. Against the timeless backdrop of the Rockies, we can all embrace a sense of childhood wonder.

$12.95

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Spirit of the White Bison
Traditional Territory: Métis, Ojibway
Format: Paperback
  • A young bison growing up on the plains in the late 1800s faces peril at the hands of soldiers, who are destroying the great buffalo herds as a way to control native tribes. He is befriended by a native warrior and a white hunter who try to save him and his herd from annihilation.

$17.00

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit
Format: Paperback
  • When a mishap delays Jessie at the end of a school day, she takes a shortcut home. But the shortcut turns into an adventure, as Jessie is transported through time and space, to early 19th-century Newfoundland. There she meets Shawnadithit who, as the last surviving member of the Beothuk, has witnessed the end of a once-great people.

    Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills.

    Grades 4-6

    Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
    Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

    The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

$16.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Land of Os: John Ramsay
Format: Paperback
  • When Richard’s class from Big Spirit School takes a canoe trip, he and his classmates chance upon an elderly woman. She tells them the story of her grandfather, John Ramsay, of the Sandy Bar community on Lake Winnipeg. Ramsay’s land was taken by the government and given to the new settlers from Iceland who arrived there in 1875. Yet many owed their survival to Ramsay, who helped them through freezing winters, hunger, and a devastating smallpox epidemic.

    The Land of Os is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills. The series also includes:

    The Scout: Tommy Prince, a decorated Aboriginal war hero, and his exploits on the European battlefields of the Second World War.

    The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur, a young Dene woman enslaved by the Cree, who becomes a guide for the Hudson Bay Company. In 1715 she negotiated a peace between longstanding enemies, the Cree and Dene.

    The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont, his role in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, and the Metis of Batoche.

    The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit, the last remaining member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland.

    The Poet: Pauline Johnson, born on the Six Nations Reserve, who wrote and performed her work throughout North America, and was a pioneer of Canadian literature.

    Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
    Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

    The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

$16.95

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