When I Was Eight HC

SKU: 9781554514915

Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Grade Levels:
One, Two, Three, Four
Arctic, Inuit
Book Type:
Annick Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$21.95


When I was Eight is the 32-page picture book adaptation of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's book, Fatty Legs: A True Story. Margaret and her daughter-in-law, Christy Jordan-Fenton have adapted Margaret's childhood story about her life in a residential school when she was a child. This picture book memoir begins with Olemaun (the stone that sharpens the women’s knife, the ulu) living on the land with her family. Her older sister has attended residential school and brought back a special book about a girl named Alice. Olemaun wants to attend this school too. Reluctantly her father agrees. A rude awakening occurs when Olemaun’s long braids are cut off, and her warm Inuk clothing is replaced by thin clothes and scratchy underwear. Even her name is taken and she is now known as Margaret. Hard work scrubbing floors and overseen by black-robed nuns was how the students passed their time in this school. Finally the students are taken to a classroom and Margaret now believes she will at last learn to read. Overcoming her inability to speak English and dealing with the harsh discipline of the nuns, Margaret finally succeeds. She can read her precious book about a magical world and a girl named Alice. The realities of residential school are presented to primary and junior students in a matter-of-fact manner. All readers can identify with this Inuk girl whose courage and determination help her to overcome the challenges of a foreign culture and learn to read. Highly recommended. Guided Reading Level Fountas and Pinnell: P

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