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Fatty Legs (2010)

by Christy Jordan-Fenton(Favorite Author)
3.75 of 5 Votes: 1
1554512476 (ISBN13: 9781554512478)
Annick Press
review 1: When Olemaun was a little girl, her half-sister came back from the nuns' school and shared some of the stories she was learning to read. Olemaun longed to learn to read those stories for herself, so she begged her parents to send her to the outsiders' school. Her half-sister tried to warn her that she would not like it, but school was even worse that Olemaun expected. The nuns were super strict and spoke only English, despite the fact that their Inuit pupils could not understand them. They were forced to wear the outsiders' impractical clothing, eat their foreign food, and do chores upon chores before starting classes.This true story of an Inuit girl leaving her village and suffering at a residential school set up to educate native people is an important one for children t... moreo know. Although Olemaun definitely has a trying time in school, she is quick to note that she and her people are resilient. She got what she wanted out of her time in school - learning how to read and write. Archival photos are included at the end, showing some members of Olemaun's family and showing what some of the buildings and places looked like at the time she was in school in the 1940s. I would hand this to kids who, like Olemaun, value stories and the ability to read, or anyone who is interested in reading a first-person account that shares a more detailed view of historical native life.
review 2: This is a memoir of Margaret Pokiak, a young Aboriginal girl, who is determined to attend the same Catholic residential school as her older sister, Rosie. Margaret is determined to learn how to read, despite all the family warnings of loneliness, ridicule, and torment she will encounter at the “outsiders” school.After years of begging her father, he reluctantly agrees. Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun, with a hooked nose, and bony fingers who immediately disapproves of her strong-willed nature. Life at the school brings one hardship after another. Instead of learning to read, harsh punishments and unbearable chores are part of her daily routine.Whenever possible, the Raven humiliates her, even to the point of giving the entire class gray socks expect for Margaret who receives red ones. She is embarrassed how big they make her legs look and is the subject of ridicule and laughter by the other girls who call her “fatty legs”. Determined not to let the Raven break her spirit, Margaret burns the socks. What will the Raven do? How will Margaret continue to survive such cruelty? It’s been almost two years and her parents still haven’t come back for her. Will they ever? Have they forgotten her? Will Margaret ever learn to read? less
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