When We Were Alone
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This picture book begins with a young girl helping out in her grandmother's garden, when she begins to notice things that make her curious.
Why does her grandmother have long braided hair and beautifully colored clothing?
Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family?
As she asks her grandmother abou ...more
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 peop ...more
This book was a beautiful and simple children's story about the hardships suffered by native tribes within Canada.
The illustrations were beautiful, the original language of the people were used and it was lovely, quick and poetic.
I have Debbie Reese to thank for drawing my attention to David A. Robertson and Julie Flett's When We Were Alone published by Portage and Main Press. Done simply, but with devastating clearness this is the story of a woman telling her granddaughter of her time in one of the boarding schools to which Canadian First Nation children were taken. She tells of the brutal methods used to strip them of their own cultures and how they managed to quietly, but firmly resist this. The lo...more
In this narrative, a young girl spends time with her Nokom (grandmother) and wonders why she does the things she does. The girl questions how she dresses, wears her hair, why she speaks Cree, and spends so much time with her brother. We readers learn, along with the girl, that this is how her Nokom celebrates her life in contrast to her experiences in residential school.
I highly recommend t ...more
Picture book, First Nation history, fiction
Interest level: Pre-K through grade 3; reading level: 3.6
5 out of 5 stars
Much of the history of First Nation people in North America is never presented in the history books that children encounter in schools. In the lat ...more
This picture book tells about the experience of one person during the residential school time in very simple terms. A little girl is helping her grandmother in the garden and begins to ask her questions. "Kókom, why do you dress in bright colors, why do you wear a long braid, why do you speak in ...more
It's a difficult topic to share in a children's book, but it is done beautifully by both David A. Robertson and Julie Flett.
However, I can say that this was a beautiful and engrossing read, that has made it onto my must-buy list for my young loved ones.
This book deals with the history of residential schools for Native American children. The focus is on the attempts to stop the children from practising their culture. They weren't allowed to have long hair or speak Cree at the school. Everything they were not allowed to do was to make them like everyone else (in other words, like white ...more
A worthy historical tale told powerfully through the storytelling medium of the picture book.
Sometimes I think we fear that certain subjects are too sensitive or heavy to expose children to. I believe it's really just a matter of how things are presented. In this story a Cree grandmother sensitively explains the proud traditions she carries out to her curious granddaughter. The little girl's kókom is given a voice as the book relates, without excessive bitterness or accusation, her ...more
When We Were Alone tells an unpleasant bit ...more
The story is touching and sweet and sad and written at a level that even young children can understand. The free Teacher's Guide available online from the publisher offers links to resources to enhance the learning experience for a wide variety of ages.