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Author Visit

Today was a very exciting day in my classroom!  We had a special visit from two local "celebrities" (my students are head over heels about these two ladies).  Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton are the authors of 4 books.  We spent several months reading the novels and discussing the concepts.  These books tell the story of Margaret's life in residential school and after. 

Her bio from Annick Press, the book publishers:

Displaying photo 1.JPGMargaret Pokiak-Fenton was born on Holman Island in the Arctic Ocean, en route with her nomadic family to their winter hunting grounds on Banks Island. She spent her early years on Banks Island. Being Inuvialuit, her young childhood was filled with hunting trips by dogsled, and dangerous treks across the Arctic Ocean for supplies, in a schooner known as the North Star. At the age of eight, she travelled to Aklavik, a fur trading settlement founded by her great-grandfather, to attend the Catholic residential school there. Unlike most children, she begged to go to the school, despite the horrific reputation of residential schools. There was nothing she wanted more than to learn how to read.
She later settled in Tuktoyaktuk where her family had relocated. While working for the Hudson’s Bay Company there, she met her future husband Lyle, who was employed on the Dew Line project. She followed him south to Fort St. John. Together they raised eight children.
Margaret is well known for her traditional handmade Inuit crafts and has showcased them at the Northern Arts Festival many times. Most Saturdays she can be found at the local farmer’s market in Fort St. John where she sells her beautifully beaded and adorned crafts and the best bread and bannock in the North Peace.

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Christy spoke a lot about the books and about residential schools in general.  She was really informative and the kids hung on her every word.  She spoke for nearly an hour and they sat so respectfully.  At the end, my students asked some really insightful questions.  I was very proud! 
Fatty Legs is their first book.  I blogged about it here.

When I was Eight is the picture book version of Fatty Legs.  It tells the same story in a more concise form.  It does have some new details that aren't in the novel.
Their second novel - an 'after the story'.  I blogged about it here.
And then, the picture book version of "A Stranger at Home".  They gave me a signed copy as a gift today!  This book just came out less than a month ago.  After they left we read it immediately!

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