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Archive for the ‘Aboriginal Resources’ Category

sisters

The Two Sisters, a tale from the Squamish Nation, that explains the existence of two iconic peaks on the north shore of Vancouver. If you live in the lower mainland, you probably know these peaks as The Lions. This beautifully illustrated book is loved by teachers and students. Never in the library and always in use, I hope to purchase another two copies. As one grade 4 student told me, “I can see them from my front window!”

An essential library book. Great for launching writing and art projects.

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Image result for gord downie secret path

Beautifully illustrated, large format graphic novel by The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, is the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a young Aboriginal boy who escapes Indian Residential School to return home, with tragic results.

See the animated film here.

For adults and older students, read Joseph Boyden’s Wenjack.

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Gorgeously illustrated with felted art by Kiki van der Heiden and children from Haida Gwaii, Taan’s Moons follows a bear through the year and the different stages of the moon. Although neither author nor illustrator are of Haida descent, this book and the art work were completed in consultation and collaboration with elders, teachers, and children of Haida Gwaii. There are print and audio translations available in the Skidegate Haida dialect.

When teachers request a book that will explore Aboriginal understandings of seasons and this is what I will recommend. This book was chosen as the book given to prospective Kindergarten students during Welcome to Kindergarten.

 

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Over the winter break, I read some fantastic graphics. My favourite was Roller Girl, the tale of twelve year old Astrid who signs up for roller derby just as she is losing her best friend to clothes, crushes, ballet and the horrid Rachel. Astrid explores her evolving identity as she faces the uphill battle of learning roller derby and dealing with friendships. Nice first graphic by Victoria Jamieson. My ten year old read it straight through in one sitting.

Lumberjanes is an odd mash up of genres: girl gang, rebels, mystery detectives, fantasy with mythical creatures, adventures and girl friendships all wrapped up in a funny take on girl guides. When I offered it to a group of kids today, they collectively gasped, waving their hands around, asking to be the first to read it.

Nanjing: The Burning City is a powerful historical fiction story of a captain and one of his men that have remained in the city too long and are now surrounded by invading Japanese soldiers. Trying to escape to safety, the two soldiers must choose againa and again: help others or save themselves. For older students, this would make a great lit circle selection.

Space Dumplins is the entertaining story of Violet, who sets out with her two companions to save her father, who has gone missing during a secret mission.

Sugar Falls is a haunting and beautiful story of a young girl who is taken away from her family to an Indian Residential School. Based on a true story. A good lit circle selection for older students.

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The Bok Chitto River in Mississippi was once the dividing line between slavery and freedom. If slaves crossed the river to where the Choctaw Aboriginal people lived, they were free and it was illegal for slave owners to bring slaves back across. The Choctaw people built a secret bridge across the river. It was piles of stones that sat just below the muddy water and it was invisible unless you knew about it. One day, a Choctaw girl named Martha Tom crossed the river and got lost. A young slave boy named Little Mo helped her get home and they became friends over the years.

Powerful and emotional, this book would be a wonderful read aloud.

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Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox is a beautifully illustrated little book. Each spread has a lovely portrait of a child as a particular animal and a couple simple lines about why they feel like that animal.

Perfect for a writing prompt, art lesson, or discussing Anishinaabe totem animals – animal guides.

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Dreaming in Indian is a collection of writing, memoir, artwork  and poetry, by Aboriginal artists exploring what it was like for them growing up. A fabulous read and essential for all libraries, this would be a great book to read with older students for prompting deep discussion or writing. Check out art by Bunky Echo-Hawk, wise words from Olympic swimmer Waneek Horn-Miller, and childhood reflections by Joseph Boyden.

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