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First Nation Communities Read

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First Nation Communities Read is an annual reading program launched in 2003 by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. First Nation Communities Read selected and other recommended titles:

- encourage family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;

- are written and/or illustrated by, or otherwise involve the participation of a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit creator;

- contain First Nation, Métis, or Inuit content produced with the support of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit advisers/consultants or First Nation, Métis, or Inuit endorsement.

To view the young adult and adult selections, visit:

First Nation Communities Read - Young Adult Selections

First Nation Communities Read - Adult Selections

A Different Game
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6;

In this sequel to Murphy and Mousetrap, Murphy and his three friends, Danny, Jeff and Albert, are making the transition from the tribal elementary school to the community middle school. They are all trying out for the middle school's soccer team, and they're pretty confident that The Formidable Four will all make the team. But once the tryouts begin, Albert, the tribal-school superstar, plays like a second stringer. Murphy's new friend, Molly, is determined to help the boys find out what's wrong with Albert, but when they discover the truth, they realize that Albert is playing a whole different game.

Reviews
"A novel of courage and achievement told from the point of view of four native youths who must learn to cope with life off the reserve and their friend's illness…Many life lessons are taught with meaningful thematic messages, values and spirit…Highly recommended for primary/junior male readers both for recreational reading and for literature circles or discussion groups."— Resource Links, October 2010

Series Information
This book is part of the Orca Young Readers series, which are award-winning, bestselling chapter books for ages 8–11. Titles in this series include historical and contemporary stories with age-appropriate plots.

Additional Information
136 pages | 5.00" x 7.50" 

Authentic Canadian Content
$7.95

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A Goal In Sight
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8;

Aiden is the roughest player on his Calgary hockey team, as likely to be in the penalty box as on the ice.

When he hits another player after a game, however, he's charged with assault and sentenced to one hundred hours of community service. He's bored and annoyed when he's forced to help Eric, a blind player with the Calgary Seeing Eye Dogs. In time, his new team shows him hockey is more fun on the ice than in the box.

A Goal in Sight is the story of an unlikely friendship that teaches a troubled kid the value of fair play.

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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A Native American Thought of It
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7;

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 Salmon for Simon
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

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.

Educator Information
Curriculum Connections: Science and Nature, Environment

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.63" x 8.75"

Authentic Canadian Content
$6.95

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A Stranger at Home: A True Story
Editors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

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.

Reviews
"This memoir, detailing a woeful piece of Canadian history and demonstrating Margaret's strength of character, compassion, courage and her willingness to sacrifice herself for her family's sake, gives the reader a lot to ponder. Highly recommended." — Shelbey Krahn, Canadian Materials, February 2012

"A Stranger at Home will speak to anyone who has experienced displacement or assimilation into a new culture. This fabulous story enhances the Grades 6 to 8 social studies curriculum." — Professionally Speaking (Ontario College of Teache, April 2012

"While it may not have the same drama and tension of the first memoir, this tale provides a compelling and moving story of a girl searching for the strength to find her place in the world." — Jody Kopple, School Library Journal, December 2011

"Without being graphic or overwhelming, the Fentons recreate a tragic moment in Canadian history through the innocent reflections of a child...a must for any classroom library." — Canadian Teacher Magazine, May 2012

"This tale provides a compelling and moving story of a girl searching for the strength to find her place in the world. The writing is unpretentious and accessible and readers who enjoyed the first book will find this an interesting follow-up. Vivid paintings are a beautiful accompaniment to the storytelling. Photographs from Pokiak Fenton's own collection add important points of reference for readers looking to visualize the characters and the unique setting of the Arctic Circle. A welcome addition to biography collections." — Jody Kopple, School Library Journal, December 2011

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 9-13.

Guided Reading Level: Fountas and Pinnell U

Themes: biography; Inuit; Indigenous peoples; arctic; residential schools; identity; community; Canadian content; family; society; history; memoir.

Additional Information
128 pages | 6.25" x 9.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Ancient Thunder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

A beautiful and visionary book, Ancient Thunder celebrates wild horses and the natural world of the prairies. Using an extraordinary technique, Leo Yerxa, an artist of Ojibway ancestry, makes paper look like leather, so that his illustrations seem to be painted on leather shirts. The art is accompanied by a rich song of praise for the wild horses that came to play such an important role in the lives of the First Peoples. 

Years in the making, the book is truly a work of art — one that reflects Yerxa's sense of nature and the place of the First Peoples within it.

Awards

  • In 2008, Ancient Thunder was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.
  • Winner of the Governor General's Award

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 4 and up (Grades k and up)

Curriculum Connections: Language Arts, Visual Arts

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.30" x 10.80"


Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$9.95

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Anguti's Amulet
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

A bilingual story in Inuktitut and English, Angutiup ânguanga / Anguti’s Amulet is a story based on an Inuit archaeological site located along the central coast of Labrador that was occupied sometime between AD 1720 and AD 1750.

Itjasualigijet KamajiKatlutik Prâvinsiup suliaKaffinganit – Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, ikajuttiKatlutik Prâvinsiup PitaKautinginnit Neofulâmi Labrador-imilu, pitsiaKujitlutik itjasuattuligijinik piulitsisiaKujitlutik Kinguvatta Kimiggujatsagimmait.

Archaeological fieldwork is conducted under the auspices of the Provincial Archaeology Office, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, which, with the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador, ensures that sites and collections are protected for future generations.

Educator Information
A bilingual story in Inuktitut and English.

Recommended Ages: 5-10.

Additional Information
38 pages | 9.00" x 8.00" | Written by The Central Coast of Labrador Community Archaeology Partnership, illustrated by Cynthia Colosimo, and Inuktitut translation by Sophie Tuglavina, an Inuk educator.

 

Authentic Canadian Content
$14.95

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As Long As the Rivers Flow (PB)
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

In the 1800s, the education of First Nations children was taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures. 

As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl and watches his grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting and gathering trip.

Awards

  • In 2006, As Long As the Rivers Flow was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.
  • Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction 

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 7 to 11. 

Curriculum Connections: Indigenous Studies, Social Studies, Science and Nature

Additional Information
48 pages | 7.25" x 10.25"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Belle of Batoche
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6;

Belle, an 11-year-old Metis 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.

Reviews
"This book can be a starting point for a more in-depth look at the Metis settlement and the struggle which ensued or it can be read just for enjoyment."— Resource Links, September 2004

Series Information
This book is part of the Orca Young Readers series, which are award-winning, bestselling chapter books for ages 8–11. Titles in this series include historical and contemporary stories with age-appropriate plots.

Additional Information
144 pages | 5.00" x 7.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$7.95

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Bone Dance
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10;

"Life is full of surprises, and sometimes the good and the bad get all bunched up together." Alexandra's beloved grandfather said this often. But nothing could have prepared her for the death of her father, a man she never knew and his legacy, a cabin on prairie land near an ancient Native American burial ground. It is at the cabin that she meets Lonny, who seems more troubled than Alexandra. Lonny''s stepfather had once owned that very same cabin and land and always wanted it to go to Lonny. But Lonny, tormented by guilty memories and disturbing visions, refused to take it. Who would have thought it would it end up in the hands of a city girl like Alexandra? He tries not to like her, but is drawn to her nevertheless.
As their story unfolds, Lonny and Alex are haunted and guided by spirits that draw them to the land and to each other in this moving and tender tale about two unforgettable teens.

Authentic Canadian Content
$8.95

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Buffalo
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6;

A powerful tribute to a majestic animal!

"The Buffalo was a way of life for the Indians of the Great Plains. It provided food, fuel, and clothing - all the basic needs. The first Americans celebrated the buffalo's sacred spirit with ceremonies, prayers, and songs. The buffalo taught that all living things, including humans, are equal in the natural world. The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers; he belongs just as the buffalo belonged" - Oglala Sioux chief

Beverly Brodsky's watercolors and oil paintings accompany tribal song-poems woven into a narrative history about the buffalo's essential and sacred role on the Plains. Her book is a powerful tribute to a majestic animal, tracing the history of the buffalo from the beginning of time to present day. 

Reviews
"Brodsky has made a magnificent re-entry into the world of picture books with this historical look at the plight of the buffalo as related to the Native American experience. Museum-quality watercolors and oil paintings are breathtakingly stunning. Particularly dramatic is “Countless Millions,” a watercolor spanning two pages—a dramatic depiction of the millions of buffalo that were hunted to near extinction. The author’s first-rate text simultaneously relates the history of the demise of the western buffalo herds, presents tribal song-poems, and factual notes about the use of the song-poems and their relationships to the history of the buffalo and Native American customs." - Kirkus Review

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 9.50"

$8.95

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Call of the Fiddle
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 2; 3;

Call of the Fiddle completes the trilogy of a young boy as he embraces his Métis heritage and carries on his family’s traditions. Wilfred Burton and Anne Patton capture Batoche’s history and significance with their words, while Sherry Farrell Racette brings the land and Métis culture to life with her vibrant illustrations. Join Nolin one last time as he hears the rollicking rhythm of the “Red River Jig,” learns of tearful memories, and experiences the excitement of jigging at Batoche!

Includes a CD with English and Michif Narrations of the Story and Fiddle Music!

Educator Information
The trilogy is composed of these three titles: Fiddle Dancer, Dancing In My Bones, and Call of the Fiddle

Michif translations by Normal Fleury.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

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Caring For Me series: Taking Care Of Mother Earth
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: K-Physical and Earth Science

Charlie and Grandma are doing chores around the house. While doing the chores, grandma shares loving stories with Charlie on how to take care mother earth.

This series was developed through consultations with health promotion workers and early childhood educators. There are six titles in the series that deal with issues such as healthy eating, safety, dealing with feelings and notions of respect. This series is appropriate for ages three to five, and the books have full-colour illustrations.

Authentic Canadian Content
$10.95

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Catching Spring
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

The year is 1957, and Bobby lives on the Tsartlip First Nation reserve on Vancouver Island where his family has lived for generations and generations. He loves his weekend job at the nearby marina. He loves to play marbles with his friends. And he loves being able to give half his weekly earnings to his mother to eke out the grocery money, but he longs to enter the up-coming fishing derby. With the help of his uncle and Dan from the marina his wish just might come true.

Educator Information
Themes: contest, family, fishing, Indigenous.

Series Information
This book is part of the Orca Young Readers series, which are award-winning, bestselling chapter books for ages 8–11. Titles in this series include historical and contemporary stories with age-appropriate plots.

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.00" x 7.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
$7.95

Quantity:
Fatty Legs: A True Story
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

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 artwork from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.

Awards

  • First Nation Communities Read recipient, 2011-2012

Reviews
"I highly recommend this book for the discussion it would stir with students...Makes the harrowing residential school stories accessible to youth." — Resource Links, December 2010

"Presents a unique and enlightening glimpse into the residential school experience and, most importantly, one little girl's triumph over her oppressors." — Quill & Quire, November 2010

Educator Information
Fountas and Pinnell T

Themes: biography; Inuit; Indigenous peoples; Indigenous; arctic; school; self-esteem; abuse; community; prejudice; Canadian content; courage/bravery; right vs. wrong; role reversal; secrets; society; history; bullying; memoir; character education.

Additional Information
112 pages | 6.25" x 9.00" | full-color illustrations, archival photographs, map

Authenticity Note
This illustrator of this book is not Indigenous; therefore, her artwork is not considered to be Authentic Indigenous Artwork according to Strong Nations Authenticity Guidelines. The archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's personal collection, however, are considered to be authentic, which is why the book is labelled as containing Authentic Indigenous Artwork. It is up to readers to determine whether or not the images in this work are authentic for their purposes.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

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