• books

    Melanie Bluelake’s Dream

    I’ve had the book Melanie Bluelake’s Dream sitting by my computer for  while now. I haven’t wanted to return it to the library until I write something about it, but I haven’t known what to write. It is a children’s chapter book by Betty Dorion about an eleven year old Cree girl who leaves her reserve to go live with her mom in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She’s not happy about leaving her Kõhkom (grandma) and her community. The usual nervousness about starting a new school in a new place are compounded by poverty. She can’t afford the school supplies. She and her mom are basically couch surfing, moving   between different…

  • books,  homeschooling

    Books about Life in Northern Canada

    Right now I’m finding myself looking for children’s stories that have very concrete locations. I want stories located somewhere and at a particular time rather than just in some pseudo generic “anywhere.” The children are gobbling up these stories and with each one we draw a little picture and tape it onto our wall map to show where it took place. Here are a few of the stories we’ve read recently about life in the far parts of Northern Canada. Most of these I borrowed from my local library, but I was provided a copy of When I was Eight from the publisher. Kamik an Inuit Puppy Story is adapted from…

  • books,  politics

    Book Review: Shannen and the Dream for a School

    I found a great book. It is a chapter book, about two hundred pages long but with big font and small pages. The story tells of a young native girl who dreams about having a real school instead of the small portable classrooms they have to make do with. In the winter the children walk through ice and snow to get between rooms. Children aren’t allowed to wear boots in school but the teacher has a special code (two fingers up in a peace symbol) to tell the children that it is okay to wear boots because the classrooms are freezing. Not all the students graduate grade eight and few enough go on…