Fifteen-year-old Josie Jessop goes from blending into the crowd to being the White Girl when her mother marries a First Nations man and moves them to his house on a reserve outside the city, where she must come to terms with her new home, new school, and new family amidst very few friendly faces. Josie has to come to terms with being identified as the White girl on the reserve as she strives to fit in and make this new family situation work. Josie must find her inner integrity with the help and guidance of her step-grandmother.
Yetsa's Sweater is a charming picture book by Sylvia Olsen about the women of the Coast Salish who continue to create beautiful Cowichan sweaters. It is an effective picture book that demonstrates First Nations experiential learning. Yetsa is spending time with her grandmother assisting in the preparation of the sheep's wool needed to knit these amazing one-of-a-kind sweaters. The story and illustrations show the love and understanding between the generations as Yetsa's mother joins the group to complete the many tasks needed to make the wool ready for knitting.
No Time to Say Goodbye: Children's Stories of Kruper Indian Residential School is a fictionalized account of the experiences of five First Nations children who attended Tsartlip Day School and were apprehended by government Indian agents and sent to Kruper Island Residential School. Author Sylvia Olsen talked with six community members and listened to their accounts of their time spent at the residential school.
The Girl with a Baby is a novel by author Sylvia Olsen, who married into the Tsartlip First Nation, where she has raised her four children. Jane, one of the most popular girls and best students in her school, loses her good reputation when she has a baby at the age of fourteen, but as her grandmother predicted, Jane learns that motherhood has only made her stronger. ATOS Reading Level: 4.4; Reading Level: 4.4. Author Website: http://sylviaolsen.ca/
Shin-chi's Canoe is Nicola Campbell's sequel to Shi-shi-etko, the story about a young girl's first year at residential school. In this second picture book, Shi-shi-etko returns for another school year and brings along her six-year-old brother. Shin-chi loves to fish and accompany his father in the canoe. But a new experience awaits and his sister helps him prepare for what will happen at school. Their mother explains to the children that she does not want to send them but there are laws compelling parents to send their children to boarding schools.
I Like Who I Am is first-time author Tara White children's picture book about identity, bullying, and assertiveness. A young Mohawk girl named Celina experiences her first day in an elementary school in a Mohawk community. From the illustrations, the reader quickly notes that Celina has blonde hair and blue eyes. At recess her new classmates gather round and quiz her about why she is attending their school. Celina explains that her mother just started a new job at the band office. Other students then ask her about her identity. Is Celina really a Mohawk girl?
The Stone Cutter and the Navajo Maiden, Tse Yitsidi doo Ch'ikeeh Bitsedaashjee is a bilingual children's picture book that explains the importance of the Navajo metate or grinding stone. A young Navajo girl lives with her father after the death of her mother and takes over the roll of grinding the corn to make flour. One day she trips and falls while carrying the metate or grinding stone and it shatters. To the Navajo, this grinding stone is an important tool for processing corn into flour for breadmaking.
The Saver is a young adult novel written in the form of letters from a teen sent to an imaginary friend, Xanoth, who lives and thrives in a far-away planet. Life is rough and hard for Fern and her mother who live in an tiny apartment in Montreal. Mother is a First Nation woman whose only relative lives in Winnipeg. Fern and her mother are trying to make a life in Montreal where high school and cleaning jobs are routine. One day Fern returns home to find tragedy waits after her mother has fallen down stairs and was taken to hospital.
Empowerment of North American Indian Girls: Ritual Expressions at Puberty is a study by developmental psychologist Carol A. Markstrom of the ceremonial practices of specific Native American communities surrounding the coming-of-age of young women. She examines the anthropological, historical, and Indigenous literature on the subject and combines this data with ceremonies she attended specifically the Apache Sunrise Dance or Na'ii'ees at San Carlos. She also writes about the puberty ceremonies for of Navajo, Lakota, and Ojibwe girls.
The Secret Legacy is an illustrated chapter book that tells several traditional Mayan accounts of the world, humans, and the spiritual world by renowned activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu. Despite living through years of warfare in Guatemala, Menchu recounts joyous traditional legends and stories about life in Guatemala and the world of the Mayan people. The heroine, Ixkem, is a seven-year-old girl who is taught about the Mayan world by her elderly grandfather.