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Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools 8 - 12 2014-2015

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A Night for the Lady
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

A Night for the Lady explores the terrain of poetry conversation. Each poem arises from conversations with poets, colleagues and intimate friends. They range from a 1998 conversation on healing programs and the fundamentals of world change to a sequence of recent indigenous literary events on the prairies. Within the context of these conversations, an exploration emerges of the roles of woman within local as well as historic literary and global situations. The poems draw together diverse figures from world literature, world religions and myths to lay open the experience of human beings within the “brown-feminine.” Identifying and synthesizing connections across a wide palette of human experience, this collection challenges the divisions of personal and global, indigenous and “everyone else,” all the while celebrating both the humanity and the divinity of the Lady. Playful, erotic and occasionally harrowing, this collection bundles together experimental and inspirational work from a longstanding voice of conscience in Canadian letters. Once again, Arnott carries us into the most intimate terrain, casts her net widely, catches us up.

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$15.95

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Canoe Crossings: Understanding the Craft that Helped Shape British Columbia
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

“A comprehensive and well-informed review of canoeing and kayaking in British Columbia.” —BC Studies

Often called one of the Seven Wonders of Canada, the canoe has played a particularly important role in British Columbia. This seemingly simple watercraft allowed coastal First Nations to hunt on the open ocean and early explorers to travel the province’s many waterways. Always at the crossroads of canoe culture, BC today is home to innovative artists and designers who have rediscovered ancient canoe-building techniques, as well as community leaders who see the canoe’s potential to bring people together in exciting, inspiring ways.

The story of Canoe Crossings begins some fifteen thousand years ago, when, as compelling new evidence suggests, the first humans to reach the Americas did so by canoe down the West Coast. It continues through the centuries, chronicling the evolution of the canoe and its impact on the various people who used it to explore, hunt, trade, fight, race, create, and even heal. The book contains dozens of stories of colourful, passionate people who have contributed to the province’s canoe culture, including a teenager who lived ninety feet up in a tree house while designing and building the world’s longest kayak; a group of high school students who practised on a tiny lake and went on to win several World Dragon Boat Championships; and at-risk Aboriginal youth who reconnected with their traditional culture through annual “big canoe” trips.

Canoe Crossings will appeal to anyone who has ever sought adventure, found solace, or seen beauty in a canoe or wondered about the origins of its design and use in British Columbia and beyond.

Reviews
“The canoe is a threshold vessel—a skin, a fabric, and some bark between water and sky. Floating is some kind of miracle, some kind of dream. All canoeists are dreamers to a degree. As you will see in Canoe Crossings, the canoe has always brought diverse groups of people together, both for joy and for common purpose, and it always will." —from the foreword by Shelagh Rogers

 
"Nobody has done a better job of connecting the 'canoe dots' on the Northwest Coast and BC's interior waterways than Sanford Osler. His lifelong interest in canoe travel, canoe design, and canoe personalities enthuses Canoe Crossings with both wisdom and generosity of spirit. His book is a 'j-stroke' in prose." —Michael Robinson, Director, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

"An important and substantial contribution to canoe literature and to the significance of this watercraft in BC. The blend of history, present-day, and personal accounts is sensitively and fascinatingly presented. A highly informative and captivating read." —Käri-Ann Thor, President, Recreational Canoeing Association of British Columbia
 
"Canoe Crossings is not just about the canoe, but about the many people throughout history to the modern day whose existence and livelihood depend on this noble craft. Sanford Osler brings their passion for paddling to life. If you have ever held a paddle in your hand, you should read this book." —Bob Putnam, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak

Additional Information
192 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
$19.95

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God and the Indian
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

While panhandling outside a coffee shop, Johnny, a Cree woman who lives on the streets, is shocked to recognize a face from her childhood, which was spent in a residential school. Desperate to hear the man acknowledge the terrible abuse he inflicted on her and other children at the school, Johnny follows Anglican bishop George King to his office to confront him.

Inside King’s office, Johnny’s memories are fluid, shifting, and her voice cracks with raw emotion. Is the bishop actually guilty of what she claims, or has her ability to recollect been altered by poverty, abuse, and starvation experienced on the streets? Can her memories be trusted? Who is responsible for what?

At its core, God and the Indian, by celebrated Aboriginal playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, explores the complex process of healing through dialogue. Loosely based on Death and the Maiden by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman, the play identifies the ambiguities that frame past traumatic events. Against the backdrop of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has facilitated the recent outpouring of stories from residential school survivors across the country, the play explores what is possible when the abused meets the abuser and is given a free forum for expression.

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$17.95

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Masculindians: Conversations about Indigenous Manhood
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;

What does it mean to be an Indigenous man today? Between October 2010 and May 2013, Sam McKegney conducted interviews with leading Indigenous artists, critics, activists, and elders on the subject of Indigenous manhood. In offices, kitchens, and coffee shops, and once in a car driving down the 401, McKegney and his participants tackled crucial questions about masculine self-worth and how to foster balanced and empowered gender relations. Masculindians captures twenty of these conversations in a volume that is intensely personal, yet speaks across generations, geography, and gender boundaries. As varied as their speakers, the discussions range from culture, history, and world view to gender theory, artistic representations, and activist interventions. They speak of possibility and strength, of beauty and vulnerability. They speak of sensuality, eroticism, and warriorhood, and of the corrosive influence of shame, racism, and violence. Firmly grounding Indigenous continuance in sacred landscapes, interpersonal reciprocity, and relations with other-than-human kin, these conversations honour and embolden the generative potential of healthy Indigenous masculinities.

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$29.95

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maskisina: A Guide to Northern-Style Métis Moccasins
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

maskisina: A Guide to Northern-Style Métis Moccasins is a follow-up to the highly successful wapikwaniy: A Beginner’s Guide to Métis Floral Beadwork. Much like wapikwaniy, maskisina guides readers, step-by-step, on how to create their very own moccasins. It contains detailed photographs along with each step. It also includes a historic overview of moccasins by Sherry Farrell Racette. Patterns for cutting the correct sizes for the soles and vamps are included in the book.

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$24.95

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Modern Native Feasts
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Reading Level: N/A

Contemporary, imaginative interpretations of First Nations cuisine, including lighter, healthier, and more nutritious versions of traditional recipes.

Native American cuisine comes of age in this elegant, contemporary collection that reinterprets and updates traditional Native recipes with modern, healthy twists. Andrew George Jr. was head chef for Aboriginal foods at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; his imaginative menus reflect the diverse new culinary landscape while being mindful of an ages-old reverence for the land and sea, reflecting the growing interest in a cuisine that is rapidly moving into the mainstream to become the "next big thing" among food trends. Andrew also works actively at making Native foods healthier and more nutritious; his recipes are lighter, less caloric, and include Asian touches, such as bison ribs with Thai spices, and a sushi roll with various cooked fish wrapped in nori. Other dishes include venison barley soup, wild berry crumble, sea asparagus salad, and buffalo tourtiere.

Full of healthy, delicious, and thoroughly North American fare, Modern Native Feasts is the first Aboriginal foods cookbook to go beyond the traditional and take a step into the twenty-first century.

Reviews
"Modern Native Feasts fuses traditional recipe preparations like brining, smoking, and curing with using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients readily available in many supermarkets. Meals reflect a diverse new culinary landscape built on an age-old reverence for the land and sea." — Gastrotraveling.com, December 2013

"The resulting recipes are unfussy yet often elegant, perfect for either a potlatch or a potluck ... George keeps his intros blessedly short, while still telling the background of each dish; the cookbook is beautifully designed, with a rustic look that's carried throughout." — The Oregonian, November 2013

"Whatever you have in mind when you conjure up the image created by the title Modern Native Feasts, you won't be imagining anything quite like this. Chef George has taken the best of his indigenous Canadian culture and traditions and fused it with his modern training, plus a generous helping of very real talent and created a cuisine that, while it may be distinctly his, could feasibly represent a beautiful -- and delicious -- future ... This is sophisticated contemporary food perfectly informed by the chef's heritage and own sensibilities." ―January Magazine 

Additional Information
192 pages | 8.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$21.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Beothuk;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6;

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.

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$16.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Land of Os: John Ramsay
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6;

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 Métis 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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

When Cole's teacher catches him drawing rather than listening in class, he gives Cole a special assignment: an oral presentation on an important Aboriginal figure. Cole will do almost anything to avoid speaking in public -- even feigning illness. But when he hear the story of the remarkable woman known as Thanadelthur -- peacemaker between the Cree and the Dene and interpreter for the governor of Fort York -- he is so inspired by her bravery, he overcomes his own fears.

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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Tales From the Big Spirit, The Poet: Pauline Johnson
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

Although Kathy loves poetry, she is far too shy to recite it in front of her class. But the story of Pauline Johnson, renowned as the "Mohawk Princess," inspires Kathy to overcome her stage fright. Pauline, from the Grand River Reserve in Ontario, crisscrossed the country, reciting her poems to far-flung communities, making her among the most beloved literary figure of the Edwardian era.

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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Tales From the Big Spirit, The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

For Tyrese, history class is the lowest point of his school day. That is, until his friend Levi reveals a secret – a secret that brings history alive, in the form of one Gabriel Dumont. Through Dumont, a great Métis leader of the Northwest Resistance, the boys experience a bison hunt, a skirmish with the Blackfoot, and an encounter with the great Louis Riel, and, ultimately, a great battle of the Northwest Resistance at Batoche, Saskatchewan.

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

The Land of Os: John Ramsay, a Saulteaux man from the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, who, though dispossessed from his land, helped the Icelandic settlers who arrived in 1875 withstand the smallpox epidemic of the following year. (expected release date July 2014)

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.

Grade: for 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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Tales From the Big Spirit, The Scout: Tommy Prince
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

A search down a wooded path for a well-hit baseball turns into an encounter between Pamela and a veteran soldier standing in front of a monument. The statue commemorates the heroism of Sgt. Tommy Prince, the most decorated Aboriginal soldier in Canada. Pamela is curious, and the veteran is happy to regale her with the story of the expert marksman and tracker, renowned for his daring and bravery in World War II and the Korean War.

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.

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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Tilly has always known she’s part Lakota on her dad’s side. She’s grown up with the traditional teachings of her grandma, relishing the life lessons of her beloved mentor. But it isn’t until an angry man shouts something on the street that Tilly realizes her mom is Aboriginal, too—a Cree woman taken from her own parents as a baby.

Tilly feels her mother’s pain deeply. She’s always had trouble fitting in at school, and when her grandma dies unexpectedly, her anchor is gone. Then Abby, a grade seven classmate, invites her home for lunch and offers her “something special” to drink. Nothing has prepared Tilly for the tingling in her legs, the buzz in her head and the awesome feeling that she can do anything. From then on, partying seems to offer an escape from her insecurities. But after one dangerously drunken evening, Tilly knows she has to change. Summoning her courage, she begins the long journey to finding pride in herself and her heritage. Just when she needs it most, a mysterious stranger offers some wise counsel: “Never question who you are or who your people are. It’s in your eyes. I know it’s in your heart.”

Loosely based on author Monique Gray Smith’s own life, this revealing, important work of creative non-fiction tells the story of a young Indigenous woman coming of age in Canada in the 1980s. With compassion, insight and humour, Gray Smith illuminates the 20th-century history of Canada’s First Peoples—forced displacement, residen­tial schools, tuberculosis hospitals, the Sixties Scoop. In a spirit of hope, this unique story captures the irrepressible resilience of Tilly, and of Indigenous peoples everywhere.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Winner

Reviews
“What a gorgeous read! Reminiscent of Lee Maracle’s Will’s Garden and Ruby Slipperjack’s Little Voice, Tilly will bring strength, comfort and peace to all who read it. Let it discover and inspire you, too. Wow! I've been waiting for a book like this for years. Mahsi cho, Monique Gray Smith, for digging so deep to create something so loving and nurturing for the world.” —Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed and The Moon of Letting Go

"Gray Smith intricately pieces together stories, traditional teachings and hard-earned personal wisdom, creating a hand-stitched quilt you can’t help but wrap yourself in—a quilt filled with optimism and the assurance that no matter how lost we are, hope, love and guidance surround us at every turn. Delicate with the handling of mature details, but fiercely candid with emotion, Tilly is an ideal resource not only for youth, but also for those who are easily triggered, while its universality will be appreciated by a wider audience. A brave new voice ready to take her place among the great contemporary storytellers, Gray Smith breaks her own trails as she explores what it means to be Indigenous in a modern world." —Christy Jordan-Fenton, author of Fatty Legs, A Stranger at Home and When I Was Eight

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 15-18.

Grades 10-12 English First Peoples resource for units on Childhood through the Eyes of Indigenous Writers and Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

Additional Information
208 pages | Ages 14+

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$19.95

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We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us: Lives and Stories of First Nations People in British Columbia

First Nations are the fastest growing population in the country. There are thousands upon thousands of young First Nations people growing up today who, together with the kind of individuals whose stories are told in this book, represent a future for this country that is brighter than it has been for a long, long time.
--from the foreword by Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations

Since 2004, journalist Katherine Palmer Gordon has interviewed dozens of young First Nations people living in British Columbia--artists and community leaders, comedians and consultants, musicians and lawyers, people who are household names and those known only within their own communities. We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us collects sixteen candid stories gleaned from those interviews, stories of people who share an unshakeable belief in the importance of their cultural heritage to their well-being, to their success at what they do, and to their everyday lives.

Included are Kim Baird, former chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation; Lisa Webster-Gibson, spoken word artist and rock-and-roll drummer with Delaware-Mohawk and Scottish-Canadian heritage who lives and works on Gabriola Island as an Environmental Assessment Professional; and John Marston (Qap'u'luq), an artist and storyteller from the Chemainus First Nation who learned to carve from his father. "What I put into each piece," he says, in his interview with Gordon, "is 100 percent me."

Shattering stereotypes, We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us gathers the thoughts and hopes of young native people living in twenty-first century Canada. Each has a compelling, meaningful story that deserves to be told, understood and, above all, celebrated.

Authenticity Note: The author of this book is not Indigenous; however, those who contributed the stories for the book are Indigenous.  It is up to readers to determine if this will work as an authentic text for their purposes.

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$24.95

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