Middle grade book
This is a great introduction to the reality and injustices of Canadian residential schools. This individual Inuit girls story is of course softened for the children's book but still resonates and helps to keep this important issue from being forgotten.
I wondered why the daughter-in-law got co-authorship with the mother-in-law, as she has no obvious connection (besides marriage), no first hand experience with subject, or writing qualifications. The illustrations are lovely, but add little to the story, in fact, often I wondered what a word meant, or what a scene must have looked like, but no corresponding drawing, although sometimes footnotes. The photos were small, and the labels smaller, and grouped at the back; repetitive to story.
Buy this book for an adolescent you know.
The true story of a young Inuvialuit girl who goes to residential school to learn to read but is cruelly bullied by a nun who makes her wear red stockings when all the other students wear grey. Despite harsh treatment, Olemaun, renamed Margaret, remains strong in spirit. The story is beautifully illustrated with both art and photos.
Although I have read stories on such situations. It give a great insight to a girl's struggle to be strong in difficult situations. Her strong "never give up" attitude is protrayed well. I loved reading the book.
great book, i loved the part where she got rid of the big fat stockings. Again great book
I loved this book. Margaret was so brave to stand up to the nuns and just ignore them. If that would have been me I would be freaked out. And the other girl, I think you know who I mean, was such a brat. I wanted to slap her so bad man. Overall this book was amazing but not my type. I'll rate it 3 and a half stars. Good book!
This nonfiction book was especially engaging to me because of my family roots - my brothers are half Inuit (Eskimo), and so while reading Fatty Legs I was making connections left and right. Margaret does an admirable job telling her story as a young aboriginal Native American in the early 20th century. It was honest, with her thinking she knew better than her parents and that going to the school run by nuns would be good for her. She ignored everyone's warnings about how the nuns would try to strip her of her Native culture - and she suffered terribly because of it. Oddly enough, one of my favorite parts of the book was the pictures in the back - pictures of what her village looked like, the traditional clothing, and even the school she attending. This one story speaks for many Natives, reminds us of some of the less honorable history of the settling of North America, and is a great addition to the biography section of our library.
Margaret Pokiak-Fenton wanted to go to school, she wanted to learn to read. Her family is against it, warning her that the school will cut her hair, give her lots of heavy chores to do and not let her speak her language. Margaret doesn't care, focusing instead on her goal of reading. Once at school, Margaret discovers that the reality is far worse than she imagined. She doesn't even get to start lessons until months after her arrival, instead she is forced to do lots of disgusting, heavy chores. When lessons finally start, her teacher singles Margaret out for cruel treatment, mocking her and encouraging the other students to do the same. Margaret must learn to stand up for herself, learn to read and even survive as winter and sickness hit the school.
Illustrated with a combination of Liz Amini-Holmes's drawings and Margaret's pictures, this is a fascinating, real life tale of a young girl's time in a residential school. This should be mandatory reading for everyone.
Set in the 1940’s, this is the story of a headstrong young girl from an Inuvialuit community who attends a residential school in the Arctic. She begged her parents to send her … she had a burning desire to learn to read. They reluctantly sent her, and she stayed for two years … and was stripped of her Native identity. Through it all, Margaret remains positive – and triumphs over her oppressors. Fascinating photos included.
Reviewed by BLP staff JK
Cobin thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over
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