- Hardcover: 25 pages
- Publisher: HighWater Press (Dec 1 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781553796732
- ISBN-13: 978-1553796732
- ASIN: 155379673X
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 0.8 x 19 cm
- Shipping Weight: 281 g
- Customer Reviews: 52 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
When We Were Alone Hardcover – Dec 1 2016
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When We Were Alone is an incredible work of art and is very highly recommended."
- National Reading Campaign
- The Horn Book Magazine, a starred review
"…Robertson handles a delicate task here admirably well: explaining residential schools, that shameful legacy, and making them understandable to small children. It’s a dark history, and the author doesn’t disguise that, but he wisely focuses the grandmother’s tale on how, season by season, the students use creativity, imagination, and patience to retain their sense of identity. A beautifully quiet, bold strength arises from the continued refrain “When we were alone” and in how the children insisted on being themselves. Flett’s gorgeous, skillful illustrations have a flattened, faux naïve feel to them, like construction paper collage, a style that works perfectly with the story. She nicely contrasts the school’s dull browns and grays with the riotous colors surrounding Nókom and gets much expression from her simple silhouettes.
Spare, poetic, and moving, this Cree heritage story makes a powerful impression." - Kirkus Reviews
"Julie’s Flett’s illustrations are impeccable. The contrast between the colourful and bleak illustrations perfectly match the narrative. The relatively small size of the book makes it perfect for sharing with younger children.
When We Were Alone addresses the topic of residential schools and, just as importantly, aspects of Cree culture and language. There is such gentleness about When We Were Alone that makes it an appropriate book for the even youngest of readers. Simply put, this is a much-needed book.
- Dr. Kristen Ferguson, CM Magazine
- Deirdre Baker, Toronto Star
- Monica Edinger, Educating Alice
- Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, MN
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Top international reviews
And very simply, her kókom explains about the residential schools where these things were all forbidden.
The residential schools were a horrid part of history, and it is important for children, and adults, to realize that real people were hurt by this policy, and its legacy. It is so good that publishers are coming out with stories to tell about this, and being written by Indigenous people as well, as who better to tell their own story.
Highly recommend this book as a beautiful picture book for libraries, schools, and home libraries. This author has also been doing graphic novels of First Nation history, which are amazing as well.
Brovo to High Water Press for this, and other books they have been brining out about the First Nation experience.
Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.