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Shi-shi-etko Hardcover – Aug 8 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-6–This is a moving story set in Canada about the practice of removing Native children from their villages and sending them to residential schools to learn the English language and culture. An introduction explains that governments believed Native people were ignorant and made laws to educate their children. Shi-shi-etko counts down her last four days before going away. She tries to memorize everything about her home–tall grass swaying to the rhythm of the breeze, determined mosquitoes, working bumblebees. There is a family party to say good-bye. Her father takes her out in a canoe and implores her to remember the trees, the water, and the mountains, and her grandmother gives her a small bag made of deer hide in which to keep her memories. The vivid, digital illustrations rely on a red palette, evoking not only the land but also the sorrow of the situation and the hope upon which the story ultimately ends. This contemplative narrative will help children see how Native people have been treated in both Canada and the United States. A good choice to enhance units on Native North American cultures.–Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 2-4. Using gentle rounded shapes and rich autumnal colors, LaFave captures the events that take place during the three days before a young Canadian girl must leave her home. Author Campbell's foreword explains the harsh government policies that, until 1984, separated Native American children as young as four from their parents, though her story conveys only that Shi-shi-etko, whose name means "she loves to play in the water," is going away to school. Before she leaves, the girl visits the creek with her mother, goes canoeing with her father, and collects sprigs from trees with her grandmother. The loving adults urge her to treasure these memories, and the girl looks and listens carefully. Without dwelling on the impending separation, the lyrical text is, nevertheless, poignant, as is the last picture of children in the back of a pickup truck driving away. Although Shi-shi-etko appears to be about five or six, the audience for her story will be slightly older children, who can grasp the implications of her fate and understand that the story takes place in the past. Kathleen Odean
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
We would recommend this book to people of all ages, those that have been effected by residential schools, and those who have experienced the heartbreak of leaving their homeland.
Most recent customer reviews
Superb book for reading to grade 2/3 students. A powerful story about a child wanting to go to residential school to learn to read. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
The book is depressing but it is a good story. It touched our hearts. It has some heart-breaking parts. Visually beautiful (great images). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Nick Kopot
Great for young readers. I presented it to the grade 4 class as an intro to Fatty Legs in their grade 6 year.Published 13 months ago by Karen Mason
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