Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Looks Like Daylight

Rate this book
After her critically acclaimed books of interviews with Afghan, Iraqi, Israeli and Palestinian children, Deborah Ellis turns her attention closer to home. For two years she traveled across the United States and Canada interviewing Native children. The result is a compelling collection of interviews with children aged nine to eighteen. They come from all over the continent, from Iqaluit to Texas, Haida Gwaai to North Carolina, and their stories run the gamut — some heartbreaking; many others full of pride and hope.

You’ll meet Tingo, who has spent most of his young life living in foster homes and motels, and is now thriving after becoming involved with a Native Friendship Center; Myleka and Tulane, young artists in Utah; Eagleson, who started drinking at age twelve but now continues his family tradition working as a carver in Seattle; Nena, whose Seminole ancestors remained behind in Florida during the Indian Removals, and who is heading to New Mexico as winner of her local science fair; Isabella, who defines herself more as Native than American; Destiny, with a family history of alcoholism and suicide, who is now a writer and pow wow dancer.

Many of these children are living with the legacy of the residential schools; many have lived through the cycle of foster care. Many others have found something in their roots that sustains them, have found their place in the arts, the sciences, athletics. Like all kids, they want to find something that engages them; something they love.

Deborah briefly introduces each child and then steps back, letting the kids speak directly to the reader, talking about their daily lives, about the things that interest them, and about how being Native has affected who they are and how they see the world.

As one reviewer has pointed out, Deborah Ellis gives children a voice that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express so readily in the mainstream media. The voices in this book are as frank and varied as the children themselves.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published September 10, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Deborah Ellis

70 books552 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Deborah Ellis has achieved international acclaim with her courageous and dramatic books that give Western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in developing countries.

She has won the Governor General's Award, Sweden's Peter Pan Prize, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California's Middle East Book Award, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award.

A long-time feminist and anti-war activist, she is best known for The Breadwinner Trilogy, which has been published around the world in seventeen languages, with more than a million dollars in royalties donated to Street Kids International and to Women for Women, an organization that supports health and education projects in Afghanistan. In 2006, Deb was named to the Order of Ontario.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
88 (42%)
4 stars
75 (36%)
3 stars
30 (14%)
2 stars
8 (3%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for Almira.
576 reviews2 followers
August 27, 2022
Deborah Ellis has written a very interesting look into the lives of young Native Americans, in the US and Canada.

Deborah interviewed each young person, first names and photos (not all due to sensitive matter) lead off each short chapter. Her sensitivity with each young person is refreshing.

One chapter in particular hit home with me - as it centered around a local event in Seattle several years ago
Eagleson, 17 a member of the Ditidaht Nation (Pacific NW). His uncle John T Williams was a known woodcarver, who was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer several years ago. It was a very big story in the area. Eagleson took up the cause and carved a Totem in honor and memory of his uncle, which was placed in the Seattle Center.

Profile Image for Sheila.
285 reviews2 followers
April 7, 2015
These kids, of course, are amazing. The book could be subtitled "Native Peoples' Lives Matter." The stories, even the "success" stories, are haunted by an institutionalized racism that started 500 years ago and just won't go away. One young man in Seattle, for example, tells us he is the sixth generation of wood carvers in his family. Then he tells us that a cop shot and killed his uncle, John T. Williams, a master carver. It's like Ferguson (or Oakland, or Staten Island etc etc etc) all over again. Williams had problems with alcohol and was partially deaf and blind. He was walking on unsteady feet, carrying a block of wood and a small (unopened) penknife, a common woodcarver's tool. As he crossed a street a cop demanded that he drop the knife, and when Williams failed to respond, the cop shot him. See:http://www.seattlechannel.org/embedvi... The cop - as in Mike Brown's and Eric Garner's cases - was not charged.

But isn't this the age of Obama, a new era that has left the traumatic past behind? Shouldn't the new generation get over it, and move on? If you are not familiar with the work of Dr. Joy DeGruy, look up her work on "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome." http://joydegruy.com/resources-2/post... Every kid in "Looks Like Daylight" bears the cultural and psychic scars of genocide, much like young African Americans.

To understand these inspiring and daunting stories in "Looks Like Daylight" in an historical context, read Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's book, "An Indigenous People's History of the United States." The military and cultural attacks on Native Americans and First Nations peoples of Canada were not just the result of prejudice and ignorance. Rather, the "Founding Fathers" knew exactly what they were doing and the insatiable thirst of capitalism drove (and still drives) the ongoing political and judicial oppression of Indigenous Peoples. If you want to get a clear picture of how racism has been used in a calculated manner to divide and conquer the working class in the U.S., read "A Different Mirror: a Multicultural History of the United States" by Ronald Takaki.

"Follow the money." And don't put down this book feeling sorry for the young interviewees. Don't wallow in "liberal guilt.". Instead, take the time to figure out why racism is still profitable for the 1%. (One might otherwise be tempted to think, "Oh, these poor kids, if only their parents weren't alcoholics, everything would be okay.") And get active in the struggles to defend Native rights, which are largely synonymous with the rights of Mother Earth. It's a galactic battle, and you know - if you followed the money - that our opponents are as well-heeled, selfish, and desperate as their ancestors were when they enslaved Affricans and tried to wipe the First Nations off the face of North America.
Profile Image for Sam.
1 review
December 12, 2017
This book gives a GREAT insight into the lives of many natives from areas of Canada and parts of the U.S. I've never read a book that exposed so much by telling so little! Each of these kids stories really makes you feel for the kids and there situations. Amazing book, Definitely a book to read if your looking for a little biography about quite an unusual topic.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,813 reviews418 followers
Shelved as 'xx-dnf-skim-reference'
November 28, 2019
Wonderful concept. I dipped in here and there but will have to pick it up another time to read it through. I do wish there was an index or table of contents - doesn't every reader want to read the story most relevant to them first? But the only way to tell if there are any interviews of Paiute, or Cherokee, or Ojibway... is to read the whole book. Or get the ebook I suppose....
Profile Image for Barbara.
13.2k reviews277 followers
August 10, 2013
Ever since reading the Breadwinner series, I have loved the books of Deborah Ellis. She is interested in the voices of children and as in several of her other nonfiction titles, she provides a brief introduction to the book and each young voice heard here, but for the most part, she steps out of the way and lets their words do the talking. Her focus here is Native children and teens in Canada and the United States, and she interviewed them over the course of two years. As might be expected, some of the stories are heartbreaking, describing Eagleson's drinking at the age of 12 or Destiny's suicide attempts at 13, but others are inspiring and remind readers of the pride that comes from understanding oneself and one's culture and becoming an advocate for what's right. For instance, 11-year-old Ta'Kaiya is involved in protest movements to keep oil pipelines and tankers from the region where she lives, and nine-year-old Cheyenne is working to help wild horses and burros. Some of the youth speak of personal challenges they have surmounted and their plans for the future while others express anger at the way their ancestors were treated by whites. Many of these children find satisfaction in dance, sports, art, reading, writing, and helping others. Each profile is brief and infinitely engaging. The book is certain to shatter quite a few preconceived notions.
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,062 reviews8 followers
July 14, 2017
After a while, I figured I got the gist of the book, but something told me I should continue on. After reading story after story after story, there is a great impact on the reader's heart. There are so many amends to be made for all the First Nations people have gone through. I think they will rise up though. I feel like times are changing for their entire culture. Perhaps that is why it is called Looks Like Daylight.
Profile Image for Lea.
271 reviews96 followers
June 5, 2016
Essential reading. The subtitle is "Voices of Indigenous Kids", and Deborah Ellis interviewed youth from all over the US and Canada. She includes background information, but it's the kids and their stories that really shine. This needs to be in every school library and classroom.
Profile Image for Erin Huston.
13 reviews
June 15, 2019
Everyone should read this book and then tell all their friends to read this book.
Profile Image for Lorraine Montgomery.
314 reviews13 followers
March 31, 2015
I've really enjoyed reading this collection of stories from indigenous children across North America. Starting with the Foreward by Loriene Roy*, to the final of 45 biographies -- that of Wassekom (aged 17) who tries to live by the Seven Sacred Teachings: Wisdom, Love, Truth, Courage, Honesty, Humility, and Respect, it has been an eye-opener to a form of racism perpetrated not only in the past, but in the present, not only by individuals, but by the government and industry, not only in the US, but in Canada where we often sit back smugly and say, "not us". I've been reading chapters between other books for some time mostly because, as with most non-fiction books, I require time to absorb everything the authors are telling me; there's just so much to take in, assimilate, and relate.

As is true in many cultures, there are those who have, and those who have not, those who are able to self-advocate, and those who are not, those who have found their own voice, and those who have not. I think one of my favourite stories was told by Mari (age 14). Clearly, Mari is one who has found her voice. She is a responsible teenager receiving a classical education in the true sense of the word. She not only studies and practices the Ojibwe traditions, but in her classes, 'learns from the Bible, theology, and classics like The Odyssey and The Confessions of St. Augustine'. Living in Minneapolis, where her mother works with the Division of Indian Work helping aboriginals with health and social issues, Mari has been following in her mother's footsteps with her own anti-smoking project called Mashkiki Ogichidaag (Medicine Warriors) with some other Native kids. Mari explains the native use of tobacco in ceremonies and traditions, pure tobacco, and contrasts it with the use of tobacco in the white culture where it is full of dangerous chemicals and poisons, and how it endangers animals and children in society when smokers leave their butts all over the ground. Mari's group has been successful in influencing the Minneapolis council to pass a new policy forbidding people from smoking in public parks, and she personally has done many presentations to civic groups. She is proof that kids can make a difference. Her group has produced several anti-smoking videos. Her outlook? "The more I do, the more I want to do."

I am impressed with Jason, 15, who has found a niche for himself in a high school on the Nipissing Reserve (on the north shore of Lake Nipissing, in Ontario) where he is taught both academic studies, and the traditions and ceremonies of the Anishinabek Nation. When Jason was younger, he encountered a lot of racism, especially from adults and teachers (who should have known better). Despite having what teachers believe are some learning disabilities, Jason is doing well, partly because of the small student-teacher ratio in the reserve school and the feeling the students have that they are respected. Despite early disrespect and the fact that both his parents abandoned him, he is being raised by extended family and feels he has a good life. His outlook? "People contribute themselves to me, so I try to pass that along and contribute to others. In North Bay I'm involved with Special Olympics, helping out with lots of activities. When I volunteer, people treat me with respect." He knows he has "the self-discipline to get me where I want to be."

Not all the stories are success stories. Destiny (age 15) is a citizen of the Oglala Band of Lakota Sioux living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, just over the hill from Wounded Knee Creek. "It is . . . one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States. Despite the effort many in the band are making to improve the standard of living, and make life more stable, many kids feel they have no-one to talk to, that they're fighting a losing battle. With high rates of diabetes, tuberculosis, alcoholism and suicide, [Pine Ridge] has one of the lowest life-expectancy rates in the Western Hemisphere." For kids like Destiny, it's a day to day struggle against depression. Her older brothers and sisters abuse alcohol, and she has friends who have committed suicide. She, herself, has tried to kill herself many times. The fact that she has been unsuccessful makes her feel like she has been given second chances, that there's something she's supposed to accomplish with her life. Her outlook? "I would not go so far as to say I'm optimistic about the future, but I won't let that get in the way of me being happy." Destiny took part in a film called Reservation Realities (available on YouTube). It is a poignant movie, searching for answers that will make their people strong.

The saddest stories are the ones where teens have been taken from their families numerous times for their safety. Taken from housing that is unfit, instead of the housing being improved. There is a reservation near Sarnia, Ontario, right across a wire fence from Chemical Valley where the water in streams is polluted and the alert sirens almost never work. It has the "worst air quality in all of Canada." Jeremy (part of the Pictou Landing First Nation, Nova Scotia) was born hydrocephalic, and has also been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism. His mother lived at the Sarnia reserve for 5 years before giving birth and believes exposure to the pollution there affected Jeremy. Now Jeremy is 16, his mother has had a stroke, and funding for help is running out. If she will agree to put Jeremy in an institution off the reserve, the federal government will cover his expenses. This is not an unusual situation but is an unconscionable one.

Each story in this book is preceded by a bit of history about the reserve in the story, some of which I was unaware of, and all of which was clearly laid out to educate. Some of the stories are incredibly moving, while others are amazingly inspirational. There is a wonderful cross-section represented here, and an overwhelming feeling that as a continent, as a nation, as human beings, we in North America have a long way to go. Yes, we can find stories like these in every culture, but the percentage of indigenous people with problems of unemployment, children in care, poverty, infant mortality, is way out of proportion to the percentage in other North American cultures. (See Macleans article Canada's racism problem.) This book can be a great tool for educating us all, but especially for our youth. Our society is made up of many cultures, and respect needs to lie at the basis for all our social interactions. If you are a parent, please read these stories and share them with your teenagers. If you teach, work them into your curriculum. These are voices that must be heard. Thank you Deborah Ellis for all your work to travel, interview, and present these stories so we all can see the sliver of daylight!
Profile Image for Roxanne.
295 reviews
July 6, 2017
4 months later, I was finally able to pick this book back up. It did not disappoint. The true, raw stories of North American Indigenous teens are captured throughout this anthology. Teenagers from all over Canada and the United States opened up about who they are, what they've done, how they feel, and what they hope for the future. The writing style felt honest. The words were written like teens talk, and the stories went well together while keeping their individuality. This was my first Non-Fiction Book and I found myself a lot more interested than I expected.

It's also important to mention that all royalties made from this book go to help First Nation people around Canada, which is amazing!
Profile Image for Morgan.
385 reviews7 followers
August 26, 2017
I'm a high school librarian, so it's a given that I love talking to teens, which is probably why I loved this book so much. It's a collection of stories from Aboriginal youth across the United States and Canada - there's even one from a girl who belongs to the Aamjiwnaang community near Sarnia, so that was cool. Some stories are heartbreaking, some are uplifting, but they all have one thing in common - hope for a better future. It's inspiring to see how many of these young people realize how important their roles are to the future of this world. I would highly recommend.
Profile Image for Petra Morin.
88 reviews5 followers
June 12, 2017
This was so amazing. It gave a really good understanding of the Indigenous history and how it affected so many generations afterwards. Most importantly I thought was that it showed hope through these young people learning about their culture and history and becoming apart of this world that their ancestor created and was mostly taken away from the people that became before these young people.
Profile Image for Margy.
168 reviews1 follower
May 18, 2020
I absolutely loved this book that weaves together the stories of individual contemporary Native American and First People children and put their lives in context with traditions and historic injustice. This is a very enlightening, inspirational, and emotion inducing book. This book really spoke to me. I highly recommend it
Profile Image for Jamie.
115 reviews2 followers
January 10, 2021
Beautiful, inspiring, heartbreaking, troubling, horrible, amazing stories from native and first native children. They’ve been through more in their short time than I have in my entire life. The biggest take away is Native and First Nation people will live and thrive despite our disgusting efforts. Strong people!
Profile Image for Ayesha.
74 reviews9 followers
July 13, 2017
Wish I had read this a long time ago. I especially liked how Deborah focused on the perspectives and experiences of Indigenous kids i.e. the future of Indigenous communities. I hope these kids achieve all the goals/dreams that they chose to share in this book.
Profile Image for Alexis Armit.
62 reviews
January 7, 2023
This was a tougher read for me - each person’s story reminded me of children I have come to know. The amount of trauma reflected in the pages of this book is unfathomable but the amount of hope and resilience remarkable.
Profile Image for Elihle.
18 reviews
January 12, 2023
This book is filled with beautiful, diverse and impactful stories of your native teens. Most of the stories have traumatic life experiences and it gives a lot of history that affected different tribes and different communities that face racism and classism in America and Canada.
Profile Image for Mar.
1,864 reviews
July 20, 2021
Very short--1-4 pages--vignettes into the lives of Indigenous Youth in North America. I'd love to see where these people are today. It is good to hear their story in their own words.
Profile Image for Diana.
388 reviews
August 29, 2021
4.5 ⭐️ This book includes some truly inspiring, eye-opening stories about the lives of Indigenous youth across Turtle Island. I’d love to see where some of these kids are now.
Profile Image for Britney Thomas.
50 reviews
December 6, 2016
Looks Like Daylight is a story where you learn about what it is like for Indigenous kids growing up. You get to see forty-five different stories and see how different things where for some of them. How they are trying to keep their cultural alive. This is a story how kids overcame the challenges that they faced and how some of their friends were not so lucky. This book deals with very serious topic such as drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, physical and mental abuse, and kinds in and of foster care. This books gives you a glimpse into some of their life’s and you get to see how much these kids really did go through. How their cultural is a place where they feel safe and free to be who they really are. You also learn about the kids that lost their culture. This book shows how strong culture cab be for some people.
This is important because as a teacher we have to be culturally aware and know that they everyone comes from a different background. You get to hear how some students didn’t get that respect the teachers just thought that they weren’t smart because they were Native American. It’s also important that we bring up the issues that were brought up. I know that people think that these topics can be too much for kids to understand but they need to know. Kids are a lot smarter than adults think. So, by this book it can show them that everyone is not the same. We all have different backgrounds. In the book, you learn all the injustices that these kids and their families had to go through. You get to see how much they would sacrifice just to keep their cultural and language alive. To me I think that a lot of kids don’t care to much about their cultural or they just never really thought about how lucky they were and by reading this maybe they will want to learn more about their cultural. This can make kids question themselves and make them want to learn more about other cultures.
Looks Like Daylight has forty-five different characters in it. I really liked how that was set up it made it a fast read and it was always something different so you always wanted to learn more. The chapter aren’t very long but you get to know the characters so much in just a few pages. I feel like this book could be relatable to many people just because she talks about such serious things that go on in everyone’s lives. Like for example I can relate to Pearl when she talks about why people use drugs growing up I had family member that struggles with addiction. When she said “I think people do drugs because they have losses in their family or losses in their spirit and they need to forget their pain for a while”. That’s why I think this book so good because even if you can’t relate with the cultural of the indigenous kids there is at least one story in the book that you will be able to relate with on some level. This book could help all types of kids because it can let them know that they aren’t alone.
This book had a lot of strengths to me. A big one was how it was written. I loved how each chapter you learned about someone new and there struggle. Another strength was how before each chapter she would give you some background on where they lived so that way you could understand it more and feel more involved. The pictures also helped me connect with the book because there was an actual face behind the words. I Think that a weakness was that the chapters were short. I would get connected to one of the stories then it would change other than that it was a great book.
Profile Image for Mj.
517 reviews70 followers
June 15, 2018
Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids by Deborah Ellis is classified as a young adult non-fiction book but should be encouraged reading for people of all ages. Deborah Ellis is a Canadian author, who has won numerous global awards. She is a well-respected humanitarian, feminist and anti-war activist who has travelled the world giving young people from far away countries a face and a voice in North America.

Looks Like Daylight is a good introduction to the his/herstory of Indigenous people throughout North America, as told by some 60 Indigeneous young people ranging in age from 9-17. Despite sharing their experiences with poverty, alcoholism, abuse, racism and more, nearly all the stories are hopeful. The kids speak frequently about their pride in their heritage and their dreams for the future. This note of optimism is one reason I suggest that you take a few hours to read this book. It is a very “soft” introduction to Indigenous People’s heritage. By “soft” I mean you will learn their story of abuse and racism – residential schools, the sixties scoop, broken trade agreements etc. but you will not be overwhelmed by the pain or graphic details that might stop you from reading this book. The shared information is important to know and a reality that happened. We cannot pretend it didn’t happen or ignore the harm that has been caused by wilfully trying to take the Native culture out of Indigenous People.

The interviews are from reservations and tribes all across Canada and the United States. Besides hearing from the kids themselves, we learn a bit about each tribe and reservation. The high number of individual tribes was surprising to me and while each tribe is unique in many respects, there is a commonality of mistreatment and dislocation and the problems that many Indigenous people face today seem to have impacted nearly all the tribes.

The book is packed full of information and his/herstory. Because it is presented in short doses, it is surprisingly easy reading – but so worthwhile. Deborah Ellis has honed her craft of interviewing and writing about children and young adults. She is probably most well known for her famous Breadkeeper series about Afghani children. It has been published in numerous countries and languages around the world with more than a million dollars being donated in royalties to Street Kids International and Women for Women, an organization that supports health and education projects in Afghanistan.

Looks Like Daylight was two years in the making. While it may seem like a small book, ounce for ounce there is significant research and important retelling and sharing on each page. Read it with an open heart. It will really open your heart and your mind. It is a great primer that tells grim stories in a hopeful, uplifting way. Looks Like Daylight is the perfect title. It captures the hope of these young people and many others around the world for reconciliation, responsibility and healing. It really is happening one person at a time. You really owe it to yourself and to aboriginals to read this book and learn more. Become part of the healing process. 3 stars only because it is a bit simpler than many books I rate that are published for adults. If rated for young adults I would give it a well-deserved 4 stars.
Profile Image for Jeffrey.
819 reviews21 followers
August 3, 2015
In Looks Like Daylight Indigenous kids tell young readers how they see the world and how being Indigenous affects their lives. Deborah Ellis travelled across North America, from Haida Gwaii to Florida, from Iqaluit to Arizona, meeting kids between nine to eighteen at their homes on and off reserve, at community and drop-in centres, schools, conferences, drug treatment centres, prisons, powwows and skateboarding jams.

There are tragic stories of racism, abuse and addiction, violence, the ongoing damage of the residential schools, suicide and the breakdown of families. But there are many more stories of young people moving forward: taking action; rebuilding a relationship with their language, cultures and traditions; forging relationships with elders; and making a difference in their communities.

Ellis provides a brief introduction to each of the 45 young people, giving a sense of context but never taking the focus off their stories. And these are extraordinary stories! Among others are 14-year-old cellist Danton, part of the Metis Fiddler Quartet whose debut album won the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Traditional Album of the Year Award; 11-year-old Ta'Kaiya Blaney, Coast Salish, an environmental activist fighting the Northern Gateway Pipeline; Cheyenne, 9, Crow, from Texas who started a fund to save wild horses and burros; and 16-year-old Zack, president of the St. Ignace Tribal Youth Council and part of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Over and over, these young people emphasize how important it is to re-connect with their cultures and traditions, with the land that their peoples come from. Perhaps most importantly, they ask us to recognize that being Pueblo, Shoshane, Mi'kmaq, Inuit, Cherokee, Dene, Choctaw, Navajo and Cree is absolutely unique and that each of the more than 600 recognized tribes and nations in North America is a different experience – there is not one Indigenous way of being.

The book includes a number of excellent resources for students in both Canada and the US .

Ellis's other works of non-fiction have allowed Afghan, Iraqi, Israeli and Palestinian children as well as children in Sub-Saharan Africa to tell their own stories. She points out that Looks Like Daylight is only a starting point and not a comprehensive look at Indigenous youth across North America . Nevertheless, this groundbreaking book is an essential resource for every school and library.
Profile Image for Tammy.
66 reviews3 followers
January 12, 2016
(256 p), ISBN: 9781554981205
This nonfiction book contains a collection of personal stories from over 40 Native American young adults, these students represent a variety of tribes from all over North America. Each student explains the personal tragedy that their family and community went through because of the white man’s discrimination and governmental policy toward Native Americans. Most stories contain plain black and white photos of these students. Despite each individual heart-wrenching hardship, these students go on to explain how their faith and culture is their pride. They continue to hope, heal and make careful plans for the future. This book is accurate, informative and portrays as an exciting project for the students to be documented at this point in time. The Forward section is full of US history that they did not teach us in school and the ending is loaded with resources about Indigenous people. Although the book is well documented and all proceeds go to the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society, I felt that the writing, artwork and layout lacked any amount of creativity. This book could be used for a reference for students ages 15 and up who have already studied a background of Native American history. I would not book talk this book because it felt too dry, repetitive and slow paced. I found it void of any creative spark that would connect the reader to culture. I would compare this book to Beyond Magenta because it is about the voices of new beginnings and each story is told first hand.
Profile Image for Susan Monmaney.
217 reviews14 followers
October 12, 2014
This would be a great classroom or community read book, sparking discussion and positive action. As a compilation of personal narratives, it could serve as a valuable resource for research -- the one thing missing is an index to quickly guide readers to specific topics.

I don't believe this would be a natural fit for a student-choice book award list, as I really don't see many students choosing to pick it up and read it cover-to-cover. Although the individual stories are powerful, the fact that they are short in length, following one right after the other, begins to blur them together -- unfortunately fading their importance and my interest.

I'm not sure how or why the cover art was chosen. The front cover is of two stacked black and white photos. The top is fairly clear, yet blurry enough to be frustrating. The bottom photo is very blurry. And the title/author/publisher info listed over and over again on the spine is confusing. It's such a shame.
Profile Image for Tim.
8 reviews
August 6, 2014
What I learned from this book is that the effects of injustice can reverberate for decades. In the 1960s and 70s indigenous children in Canada and United States were separated from their families and put into foster care. While the Canadian government has apologized for this policy, First Nations children throughout North America still battle these demons as well as alcoholism and economic hardship. Despite these realities the teenagers who contributed their stories to this book speak with positivity, strength, and hope in their voices. They rise above injustice and racism through faith in their heritage, and they do it all while taking a full course load of high school classes. A recommended read.
Profile Image for Lester.
1,341 reviews
September 24, 2014
THANK YOU Deborah Ellis!!!
Thank you for all of your writings.
I have now been introduced to so many people in the world through you. From this book I looked up and read about Ta'Kaiya Blaney, the Acoma Pueblo (Kristin's story) and listened to and watched videos of The Métis Fiddler Quartet (Danton's story). All of the stories are unique and the same..we are all human.
One of the stories quotes a sentence, "They may not remember everything that we teach them, but they will always remember how we treat them." (from Jason's story) As a parent teacher, I have always believed that quote/saying.
Thank you for your stories, all of you.
Profile Image for Sarah.
366 reviews6 followers
July 15, 2015
This was such a moving book with so many different stories. I appreciated the background information of the history so much! I feel awful that I barely knew any of this had happened in history and how times still haven't gotten much better. Deborah Ellis did a fantastic job at curating the stories and showing so many emotions. I came away knowing so much more about the Native American culture and the hardships that so many have gone through. The message of hope was wonderful and so uplifting. Even after heart wrenching stories these children have hope which just moves my heart. Much needed for the world to read!
Profile Image for Danielle Vuong.
80 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2016
Excellent book!

I learned a lot about Indigenous culture and people, from the girl who is growing up on the 40 acre farm, to the 11 year old who gives talks on the environment to politicians across the world, to the sisters whose other sister went missing and did not get an amber alert (they suspect it was because of her background as a white girl went missing at the same time and it was all over the media).

I was trying to read a fiction book at the same time, but these stories were so compelling, I could not put this one down.
172 reviews
December 24, 2013
Native teens from the U.S. and Canada reveal their thoughts about their lives and their relationships with their respective heritages, offering a glimpse of their courage, accomplishments, hope and struggles. From an incarcerated young man to a world-class runner with Olympic aspirations, their voices reveal both the uniqueness of their place within their countries, and the universality of the lives of teens in the 21st century.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.