Friday, September 10, 2010



Written by: Nicola I. Campbell
Illustrated by: Kim LaFave

Elementary Grades

"This is a moving story set in Canada about the practice of removing Native children from their villages and sending them to residential schools to learn the English language and culture. An introduction explains that governments believed Native people were ignorant and made laws to educate their children. Shi-shi-etko counts down her last four days before going away. She tries to memorize everything about her home–tall grass swaying to the rhythm of the breeze, determined mosquitoes, working bumblebees. There is a family party to say good-bye. Her father takes her out in a canoe and implores her to remember the trees, the water, and the mountains, and her grandmother gives her a small bag made of deer hide in which to keep her memories. The vivid, digital illustrations rely on a red palette, evoking not only the land but also the sorrow of the situation and the hope upon which the story ultimately ends. This contemplative narrative will help children see how Native people have been treated in both Canada and the United States. A good choice to enhance units on Native North American cultures."

School Library Journal Review

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