Rita Joe's powerful poem is presented anew in this children's picture book with illustrations from Pauline Young. A story of recovering what was lost in residential school, I Lost My Talk will raise conversation about language as a vehicle for truth and reconciliation. Published simultaneously with the companion book I'm Finding My Talk.
"How do you transform a story of so much pain into something that can be shared with children? Separation, isolation, trauma, abuse? Well, Rita Joe fought, grew, survived, and turned trauma into poetry.... The art to accompany this poem is hauntingly perfect: the drab muddy sameness of the residential school feels like a sepia toned photograph dropped in a puddle of grief. The emerging clarity towards the end merges nature and an urban environment on the other side of the school, as the poet comes forward to find her talk and share her story.
This is the time for these books. Well, no: it's past time. I wish I'd seen them as a student, myself, but I'm glad they're out there now, at a time Canadians are reckoning with our past and present— and choosing future directions. It's time Rita Joe was allowed to speak directly to us, children and adults alike, and that Rebecca Thomas was given the chance to bring her sequel to us, too. I thank Nimbus for sending me these books. I encourage you, all of you, to get your own copies, examine them, read them, and think about what we're being told."
"I Lost My Talk and I'm Finding My Talk are inseparable sister pieces meant to stand side-by-side.... Beautifully illustrated by Pauline Young, these books read like a conversation—one that Joe and Thomas invite readers young and old to join in."
—[Edit] Magazine (Summer 2020)
"This picture book version of I Lost My Talk is best read with Rebecca Thomas's I?m Finding My Talk. These haunting, evocative books bring an original approach to the exploration of Canadian residential schools in picture books. For readers and teachers who appreciate fact—based information, there is also A Short History of Residential Schools at the end of I Lost My Talk. Educators, librarians, and families will find their classrooms and book collections invaluably enriched by these books. They are real tools of truth and reconciliation; as such, they belong on every bookshelf in Canada and beyond.
—CM Reviews, Highly Recommended(5 stars)