When I Was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton

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Nothing will stop a strong-minded young Inuit girl from learning how to read.

Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. She must travel to the outsiders' school to learn, ignoring her father's warning of what will happen there.

The nuns at the school take her Inuit name and call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do chores. She has only one thing left -- a book about a girl named Alice, who falls down a rabbit hole.

Margaret's tenacious character draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But she is more determined than ever to read.

By the end, Margaret knows that, like Alice, she has traveled to a faraway land and stood against a tyrant, proving herself to be brave and clever.

Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by stunning illustrations, When I Was Eight makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to young children. Now they, too, can meet this remarkable girl who reminds us what power we hold when we can read.


About Christy Jordan-Fenton

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Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton are the authors of Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home. They live in Fort St. John, BC. Gabrielle Grimard has illustrated numerous books for children. She lives in Quebec.
Published February 7, 2013 by Annick Press. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Children's Books.

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The authors of Fatty Legs (2010) distill that moving memoir of an Inuit child's residential school experience into an even more powerful picture book.

Feb 18 2013 | Read Full Review of When I Was Eight

K-Gr 4—This condensed, illustrated version of Fatty Legs (Annick, 2010) brings the power of literacy to even younger children. An eight-year-old Inuit child from Banks Island in far northern Canada desperately wanted to learn to read English like her older sister, but her father refused to let he...

May 01 2013 | Read Full Review of When I Was Eight

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