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list price: $17.00
edition:eBook
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published: Nov 2020
ISBN:9781553799078
publisher: Portage & Main Press
imprint: HighWater Press

Ispík kákí péyakoyak/When We Were Alone

by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett, translated by Alderick Leask

tagged: native canadian, prejudice & racism, multigenerational, post-confederation (1867-), values & virtues
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $17.00
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
published: Nov 2020
ISBN:9781553799078
publisher: Portage & Main Press
imprint: HighWater Press
Description

An empowering story of resistance that gently introduces children to the history of residential schools in Canada. In When We Were Alone, a young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. As she asks questions, her grandmother tells her about her experiences in a residential school.

When We Were Alone won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award in the Young People's Literature (Illustrated Books) category, and was nominated for the TD Canadian's Children's Literature Award. This edition includes the text in Swampy Cree syllabics and Roman orthography, as well as the original English.

About the Authors

David A. Robertson (he/him/his) is an award-winning writer and recent recipient of the Writer's Union of Canada's Freedom to Read Award. His books include When We Were Alone (winner Governor General’s Literary Award), Will I See? (winner Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award), Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story (listed In The Margins), and the YA trilogy The Reckoner (winner Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction, McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People). His most recent works include the graphic novel Breakdown (Top 10 Fiction Title,In the Margins), middle grade novel The Barren Grounds, and his memoir Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory. A sought-after speaker and educator, David is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.

Author profile page >

Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received many awards, including the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You, written by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and the Canadian Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award in 2015 for Dolphins SOS, written by Roy Miki (Tradewind Books) and in 2017 for My Heart Fills with Happiness, written by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books), and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014-2015.

www.julieflett.com


 
Author profile page >

Alderick Leask is a respected Swampy Cree language instructor originally from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Manitoba. His experience includes conducting classes in Native Studies, Native Cultures, Native Languages and Canadian History from the Indigenous perspective using Traditional Elders’ Knowledge (TEK) and land-based learning. Mr. Leask places Creation and its bounties as his background in instructing students when learning basic outdoor survival skills. His usage of the functional and descriptive language of Swampy Cree demonstrates its practicality.
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Recommended Age and Grade
Age:
4 to 8
Grade:
k to 3
Editorial Reviews

When We Were Alone is rare. It is exquisite and stunning, for the power conveyed by the words Robertson wrote, and for the illustrations that Flett created. I highly recommend it.

— American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature

 

— Governor General's Literary Awards

A quiet story…of love and resistance.… Flett’s collage illustrations, with their simplicity and earthy colors, are soulful and gentle….  All readers will connect with how Nókom lives in celebration of colors, her long hair, her language, and, most of all, her family.

— The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

Robertson’s soft rhythmic text and Julie Flett’s simple, yet expressive, illustrations combine to create a beautiful story of strength and resistance. The muted colours used in the pictures of residential school life remind readers of the suffering endured by Indigenous children. The contrast between these pages, and the vibrant greens, reds, and blues of the illustrations depicting residential school students temporarily escaping into nature, is heartbreakingly effective. Robertson never tries to disguise the underlying tragedy of Nókom’s experience, but together he and Flett have crafted a book that is still suitable for younger readers, in spite of the intense subject matter.

When We Were Alone is an incredible work of art and is very highly recommended.

— National Reading Campaign

Beautiful, painful, and shining with truth and dignity.

— Richard Van Camp

Shortlisted for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

 

— TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

Robertson handles a delicate task here admirably well: explaining residential schools, that shameful legacy, and making them understandable to small children...Spare, poetic, and moving, this Cree heritage story makes a powerful impression.

— Kirkus Reviews