Sunday, 10 March 2013

A Stranger at Home

This coming Thursday, my class is very fortunate to have the authors of the book, "A Stranger at Home" come to Charlie Lake School.  Christy Jordan-Fenton is the daughter in law of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton.  This book is the second memoir of Margaret as she recalls growing up and attending a residential school.  

Annick Press says:
The sequel to the unforgettable memoir FATTY LEGS.

Traveling to be reunited with her family in the arctic, 10-year-old Margaret Pokiak can hardly contain her excitement. It’s been two years since her parents delivered her to the school run by the dark-cloaked nuns and brothers.

Coming ashore, Margaret spots her family, but her mother barely recognizes her, screaming, “Not my girl.” Margaret realizes she is now marked as an outsider.

And Margaret is an outsider: she has forgotten the language and stories of her people, and she can’t even stomach the food her mother prepares.

However, Margaret gradually relearns her language and her family’s way of living. Along the way, she discovers how important it is to remain true to the ways of her people — and to herself.

Highlighted by archival photos and striking artwork, this first-person account of a young girl’s struggle to find her place will inspire young readers to ask what it means to belong.

_________

Last year, most students in my class were read the first book, "Fatty Legs".  So, I am focusing on the second book with them.  These books are a very powerful piece of Canadian history, and tie in so well to the grade 4 Socials curriculum as well as into Health and Career because of how Margaret struggles to belong.  They are short novels, taking me only about 45 minutes to read personally.  I suggest that if you haven't read them, you do!   

If you are a parent of a student reading this, please feel free to join us on Thursday morning (approx. 9:00 am) if you'd like to sit in on the discussion! 

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