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As Long as the Rivers Flow Paperback – Sep 30 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-Given the appearance in recent years of books about Indian boarding schools, both fiction and nonfiction, this title offers an important perspective on the issue. Loyie shares a quiet but powerful first-person account of his last summer before he and his siblings were taken away from their family. Most of the story focuses on what was otherwise a normal seasonal routine for the Cree people of that era, with the family moving from their main cabin to their summer "camp" for a few weeks. Apart from the foreshadowed separation, this particular spring-summer progression was enlivened by the opportunity for the children to care for an orphaned baby owl, and an encounter with one of the biggest grizzly bears ever shot in North America. All of the day-to-day detail, close family bonding, and unexpected adventure draw readers comfortably into 10-year-old Lawrence's experience so that the final pages are all the more painful. When the children learn that they must go to the residential school or their parents will be imprisoned, and they are physically loaded onto the back of a truck by strangers, the sense of separation and loss is keenly felt. Holmlund's realistic and detailed watercolors expertly illuminate events throughout the story, in vignettes, plates, and a few full-page pictures. The epilogue briefly summarizes the facts about boarding schools in general, highlighting Lawrence's own experience, and includes several black-and-white photos.
Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 3-6. Loyie remembers himself at 10 years old, happy at home with his large extended Cree family in northern Alberta, Canada. With his father, he cares for an abandoned baby owl. On a camping trip with his grandma, he faces a grizzly bear that suddenly rears up before them on the trail. He learns patience and discipline, and he earns the name Oskiniko, Young Man. But always in the background of this idyllic coming-of-age account is the looming threat of separation, the nightmare the adults are whispering about. At the end of the book, the children must go to boarding school or their parents will be put in prison. "Strange white men" lift the terrified children onto a truck and drive away. Loyie's quiet words and Holmlund's authentic watercolor art capture the happy wilderness home without paint-and-feathers pageantry. But readers will want to know much more about the school experience and about the story behind the black-and-white photos that are crowded into the short epilogue. What happened to Loyie in those years at the school? We need a second book. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
yes i think kids should read this book because it shows people what the aboriginals had to go through when the kids had to go to the residential schools.
I personally think that this book was a bit boring, the life of Lawrence is not a exciting one and I honestly found myself dissatisfied at certain points. The book focuses more on Lawrences daily routines in the wilderness and less of actual experiences of children in residential schools.The book does howeaver take a surprising sad turn when Lawrence has to go to the school, he is taken from his happy life and loving family and forced to go to this horrible school.
If you are looking for a book to read to children to teach them about the aboriginal children living in the bush as well as the process of children being taken to residential schools then I would recomend this howeaver that is all I can recomend it for, aside from those main points this book is lacking in self interest.
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