As Long as the Rivers Flow

As Long as the Rivers Flow

by Larry Loyie, Heather D. Holmlund, Constance Brissenden
     
 

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Starting in the 1800s and continuing into the 20th century, First Nations children were forcibly taken to government-sponsored residential schools to erase their traditional languages and cultures. This moving book tells of one such child, author Larry Loyie, and his last summer with his Cree tribe. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned

Overview

Starting in the 1800s and continuing into the 20th century, First Nations children were forcibly taken to government-sponsored residential schools to erase their traditional languages and cultures. This moving book tells of one such child, author Larry Loyie, and his last summer with his Cree tribe. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl, watches his grandmother make winter moccasins, and sees her kill a huge grizzly with one shot. The sensitive text and Heather Holmlund's expressive illustrations beautifully capture the joy and drama of a First Nations family's last summer together.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Lawrence and his family live near Slave Lake in northern Alberta, Canada. They continue to honor the traditions of their ancestors of the First Nations. Most of the story recounts Lawrence's tenth summer in 1944. He helps raise an abandoned owl, fishes to help with family meals, and accompanies the adults to the summer camp. Although he is too young to go on the hunting expeditions, he is able to help in many ways. One day he goes with his grandmother to gather healing herbs. They are surprised by a grizzly bear. His grandmother kills it with her ancient single-shot rifle. When they return home, Lawrence learns that he and his younger siblings are going to be taken to a residential school established by the government. They will be expected to learn the ways of the English and will be punished for speaking their own language or engaging in traditional customs. This story is based on Loyie's personal experience. Black-and-white photographs taken at the school appear in the back of the book. The story is illustrated in full color and effectively captures the mood of this memoir. 2002, Groundwood,
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Given the appearance in recent years of books about Indian boarding schools, both fiction and nonfiction, this title offers an important perspective on the issue. Loyie shares a quiet but powerful first-person account of his last summer before he and his siblings were taken away from their family. Most of the story focuses on what was otherwise a normal seasonal routine for the Cree people of that era, with the family moving from their main cabin to their summer "camp" for a few weeks. Apart from the foreshadowed separation, this particular spring-summer progression was enlivened by the opportunity for the children to care for an orphaned baby owl, and an encounter with one of the biggest grizzly bears ever shot in North America. All of the day-to-day detail, close family bonding, and unexpected adventure draw readers comfortably into 10-year-old Lawrence's experience so that the final pages are all the more painful. When the children learn that they must go to the residential school or their parents will be imprisoned, and they are physically loaded onto the back of a truck by strangers, the sense of separation and loss is keenly felt. Holmlund's realistic and detailed watercolors expertly illuminate events throughout the story, in vignettes, plates, and a few full-page pictures. The epilogue briefly summarizes the facts about boarding schools in general, highlighting Lawrence's own experience, and includes several black-and-white photos.-Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780888996961
Publisher:
Groundwood Books
Publication date:
09/09/2005
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
712,896
Product dimensions:
7.24(w) x 9.84(h) x 0.16(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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