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 Coyote Solstice Tale
Artists:
Gary Clement
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Cherokee;

Coyote is having friends over for a little solstice party in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the friends through the snowy woods to the mall -- a place they had never seen before. The trickster goes crazy with glee as he shops with abandon, only to discover that filling a shopping cart with goodies is not quite the same thing as actually paying for them.

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$14.95

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A Day With Yayah
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: First Nations; Okanagan;

Set in the Okanagon, BC, a First Nations family goes on an outing to forage for herbs and mushrooms. Grandmother passes down her knowledge of plant life to her young grandchildren.

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$19.95

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A Different Game
Authors:
Sylvia Olsen
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: First Nations;

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" 

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$7.95

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A Goal In Sight
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: ► Non-Indigenous Content;

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.

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$9.95

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A Native American Thought of It
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

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"

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$9.95

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A Salmon for Simon
Authors:
Betty Waterton
Artists:
Ann Blades
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: First Nations;

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.

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.63" x 8.75"

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$6.95

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A Stranger at Home: A True Story
Editors:
Liz Amini-Holmes
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit; Inuvialuit;

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"

 

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$12.95

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A Walk on the Shoreline
Artists:
Qin Leng
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

Like A Walk on the Tundra, A Walk on the Shoreline introduces young readers to unique plants and animals found in the Arctic, as well as the traditional Inuit uses for the various species.

Young Nukappia can’t wait to get out to his family campsite on the shoreline. After spending all year in the south with his adoptive parents, Nukappia always looks forward to his summer visits with his birth family. After spending one night in town, Nukappia and his uncle Angu begin the long walk down the shore to the family summer campsite, where all of Nukappia’s cousins and aunts and uncles are waiting for him. Along the way, Nukappia learns that the shoreline is not just ice and rocks and water. There is an entire ecosystem of plants and animals that call the shoreline home. From seaweed to clams to char to shore grasses, there is far more to see along the shoreline than Nukappia ever imagined.

Reviews
A Walk on the Shoreline also has a full-colour glossary of the plants and animals that Nukappia encounters along the way, including photographs, quick facts and traditional uses of the plant or animal. Walk on the Shoreline is a well-researched, informative and engaging guide to the northern shoreline. The information is well-placed and woven through the text in an engaging manner. The reader gets to learn along with the protagonist, focusing more on the flora and fauna along the way than the rest of the northern setting. This focus on one detail of living in Nunavut works well; it doesn’t try and add too many details, but it provides a thread along the way.” — CM Magazine

“This reunion story features detailed character and scene-setting sketches by Qin Leng that help readers see how traditional Inuit communities live.” — Hakai Magazine

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 5-7.

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.75" x 8.75"

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$16.95

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A Walk on the Tundra
Artists:
Qin Leng
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

A Walk on the Tundra follows Inuujaq, a little girl who travels with her grandmother onto the tundra. There, Inuujaq learns that these tough little plants are much more important to Inuit than she originally believed.

In addition to an informative storyline that teaches the importance of Arctic plants, this book includes a field guide with photographs and scientific information about a wide array of plants found throughout the Arctic.

Reviews
This volume is a cross between a picture book, a story and a field guide to edible plants.... Authors, Rebecca Hainnu and Anna Ziegler, have worked on several educational publications. That background is apparent in this book.  There are eighteen Inuktitut words, including 6 plant names, introduced in the text.  They are explained and italicized when they are first introduced, for example “Nirilikkit – eat them”. The next time the word is used, it is assumed that the reader knows what it means.... [A]s a tool for building vocabulary, or as a storybook for students who have some familiarity with Inuktitut, this work would be excellent."  – Sandy Campbell, The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.50" x 8.50"

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$10.95

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Akilak's Adventure
Artists:
Charlene Chua
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

When Akilak must travel a great distance to another camp to gather food, she thinks she will never be able to make it. With a little help from her grandmother’s spirit, and her own imagination to keep her entertained, Akilak manages to turn a long journey into an adventure. Even though she at first feels that she will never be able to reach her destination, she keeps her grandmother’s assurance that her “destination is not running away; it will be reached eventually” in mind and ends up enjoying the journey that at first seemed so daunting.

Reviews

Akilak’s Adventure is a worthy addition to school and public library collections.” — CM Magazine

“An engaging and recommended read-aloud for all collections.” — School Library Journal

Akilak’s Adventure has timeless teachings about responsibility and the importance of imagination to make it a worthwhile read now and always.” — CanLit for Little Canadians

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 7.00"

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$10.95

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Algonquin Spring: An Algonquin Quest Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Algonquin;

Years after a devastating battle, Mahingan and his tribe struggle to recover a lost loved one.

Six years earlier in the fourteenth century, Mahingan and his tribe fought the Battle of the Falls against the Haudenosaunee. There were many losses, and Mahingan thought he had lost his wife, Wàbananang (Morning Star). But after the battle, he learned she was still alive, taken captive by the Haudenosaunee. Now on a desperate quest to rescue her, Mahingan and his small family are wintering north of the Ottawa River near present-day Lachute, Quebec. If they are to have any hope of recovering Wàbananang, though, they must first survive until spring.

At the same time, over 2,000 kilometres away in present-day Newfoundland, events taking place will affect four Native tribes: Mahingan’s, a group of Mi’kmaq, a Beothuk group, and a band of Haudenosaunee warriors led by Mahingan’s old nemesis, Ò:nenhste Erhar (Corn Dog) — a fierce Mohawk War Chief and Wàbananang’s captor.

Along the way, Mahingan’s brother, Mitigomij, will reveal his true self and powers. Then, an influential Mi’kmaq legend puts a new, powerful twist on events, and threatens to send things spiraling out of Mahingan’s control.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Series Information
This novel is part of the Algonquin Quest Series, a series of young adult novels from Algonquin author Rick Revelle.

Additional Information
296 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

 

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$12.99

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An Aboriginal Carol
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: First Nations; Indigenous Canadian; Inuit; Métis;

Before the angels stars grew dim 
And wondering hunters heard their hymn 
One mystic flute - one hundred drums 
One message clear, "A King has come!" 
Not one had ever seen the like 
By light of day or moon of night 
Before the angels stars grew dim 
And wondering hunters heard this hymn. . . 


An Aboriginal Carol is the ultimate Aboriginal collaboration: 

  • Poetry by Metis poet David Bouchard. 
  • Paintings by First Nations artist Moses Beaver.
  • Music by Inuit performer Susan Aglukark. 

Best-selling Canadian author David Bouchard reworks Canada's oldest and most well-known carol, The Huron Carol. The art of Moses Beaver, from the fly-in reserve of Summer Beaver, Ontario (Nikinamik), resonates and awakens an awareness that is at once exciting and empowering, a way for all people to understand the birth of Christ from an Aboriginal worldview. The pride of the north, Susan Aglukark, interprets, for the first time, the revered carol. 

Written in English and in Inuktituk, the language of Canada's Inuit people, the book is accompanied by a CD, which includes a reading in both languages and a performance by Susan. Also available in French and Inuktituk. An Aboriginal Carol is certain to become a classic.

Awards

  • Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

 

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$24.95

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Ancient Thunder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: First Nations;

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

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.30" x 10.80"


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Anguti's Amulet
Artists:
Cynthia Colosimo
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

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.

 

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As Long As the Rivers Flow (PB)
Artists:
Heather D. Holmlund
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

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 

Additional Information
48 pages | 7.25" x 10.25"

 

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$12.95

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