- Hardcover: 24 pages
- Publisher: HighWater Press (Dec 1 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 155379673X
- ISBN-13: 978-1553796732
- Product Dimensions: 19 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
When We Were Alone Hardcover – Dec 1 2016
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"…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
- The Horn Book Magazine, a starred review
- Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, MN
- Deirdre Baker, Toronto Star
- Monica Edinger, Educating Alice
About the Author
Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Métis author, illustrator and artist currently living in Vancouver, BC. She received the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize 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), and most recently Julie's book Wild Berries/Pakwa che Menisu was chosen as the First Nation Communities READ title selection for 2014-2015.
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