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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
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10;

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
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

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.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 5 to 8.

Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, Geography, Physical Education and Health

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$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 Promise Is A Promise
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

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
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

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 Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$11.95

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A River Ran Wild
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

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.

$11.99

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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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Arctic Stories
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 10; 11;

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
 
Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 5-9.
 
This illustrated children's story is a grades 10/11 English First Peoples Resource for the unit First Steps - Exploring Residential Schools and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.
 
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:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6;

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
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

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:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Alaska Native; Yupik;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

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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Chuck in the City
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

Follow the adventures of Chuck as he gets lost on his first trip to the big city. Chuck encounters stray dogs and alley cats, kids on skateboards and rollerblades, and tall office towers. After realizing he is lost, Chuck relies on what he has learned to find his way back to his kookum's (grandmother's) condo.

Chuck in the City is Jordan Wheeler's second book for children. The award-winning Cree author and scriptwriter previously introduced young readers to Chuck in Just a Walk. Wheeler writes in a rhyming style that will capture and hold a child's attention.

Series Information
This is the second book in the Chuck series.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$10.95

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Dragonfly's Tale
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Zuni;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

After a poor harvest, two children regain the Corn Maidens' blessings for their people with the aid of a cornstalk toy, the dragonfly.

In Dragonfly's Tale Kristina Rodanas retells and illustrates a story based on a Zuni story kept alive for centuries by tribal storytellers.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.81" x 11.25"

$9.95

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Encounter (Yolen)
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Caribbean; Taino;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4;

When Christopher Columbus landed on the island of San Salvador in 1492, what he discovered were the Taino Indians. Told from a young Taino boys point of view, this is a story of how the boy tried to warn his people against welcoming the strangers, who seemed more interested in golden ornaments than friendship. Years later the boy, now an old man, looks back at the destruction of his people and their culture by the colonizers.

Educator Information
Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4

Notes on the historical basis for the text are appended.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 11.00"

$11.50

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Environmentalists from our First Nations
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

Like the other books in the First Nations Series for Young Readers, this books offers ten short and engaging biographies of First Nations/Native activists who advocate not only for the environment but for Native rights. Their stories are full of highs and lows, triumphs and setbacks. Environmental trailblazers, these men and women are role models for children everywhere.

The men and women profiled here are united by their work to protect the environment and to support indigenous rights. Their stories take us from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to the Black Mesa in Arizona.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo uses her passion to stop oil extraction in Alberta’s tar sands.
Winona LaDuke is a voice for reclaiming Native lands, advocating renewable energy resources, and protecting Native cultures.
Clayton Thomas-Muller is a dynamic advocate for indigenous self-determination and campaigner against tar sands extraction.
Ben Powless brings his youthful energy and skills to addressing climate change issues.
Tom Goldtooth protects sacred sites and organizes global direct-action campaigns for the environment.
Grace Thorpe is a grandmother who dedicated her retirement years to keeping Native reservations from becoming nuclear waste dumps.
Sarah James is a voice from northern Alaska defending the Porcupine caribou herd and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Enei Begaye & Evon Peter are married activists who work as a team on environmental issues and sustainable strategies for Native people.
Klee Benally uses the media to empower Native communities in their fight for environmental justice.
Teague Allston works to ensure a tribal voice is heard in Washington DC.

Reviews
"These short biographies of environmentalists are sure to engage a whole classroom of readers. From the focus on a particular environmental crisis, to a description of each person's native heritage, to the writing style and level, the stories are accessible to readers young and old."— Canadian Teacher Magazine, March 2012

Series Information
This book is part of the First Nations Series for Young Readers. Each book is a collection of ten biographies of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women and men who are leaders in their fields of work, in their art, and in their communities. For ages 9-13.

Additional Information
128 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$10.95

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