My Name Is Seepeetza

My Name Is Seepeetza

by Shirley Sterling
     
 

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At six years old, Seepeetza is taken from her happy family life on Joyaska Ranch to live as a boarder at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Life at the school is not easy, but Seepeetza still manages to find some bright spots. Always, thoughts of home make her school life bearable.

An honest, inside look at life in an Indian residential school in the

Overview

At six years old, Seepeetza is taken from her happy family life on Joyaska Ranch to live as a boarder at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Life at the school is not easy, but Seepeetza still manages to find some bright spots. Always, thoughts of home make her school life bearable.

An honest, inside look at life in an Indian residential school in the 1950s, and how one indomitable young spirit survived it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This rather desolate autobiographical novel chronicles a girl's harsh upbringing in an Indian residential school in 1950s British Columbia. Sixth-grader Seepeetza, whose name has been changed to Martha Stone, was only six when she was ripped away from her cozy family farm and plunged into a spartan existence. She and her classmates are beaten with a strap by Sister Superior and threatened not to get out of bed lest the devils grab them and "drag us into the fires of hell." Related as entries in Seepeetza's private journal, this book has a devastatingly simple style and conveys tiny details only a person who had been through such a school could know: "Girls hide bread or raw carrots in their bloomer legs under the elastic. They take it out and eat it late at night when the lights are out. That's when we get really hungry." The story breaks out of rigid notions of right and wrong-Seepeetza is fond of her father although he drinks; her parents may have sent her away, but they are loving; the nuns are cruel but sometimes inexplicably kind; Seepeetza finds moments of happiness in her dancing amid the general oppression. Though the nave tone of the journal slightly distances the reader, the smoldering intensity and unvarnished details still assume a mature sensibility on the reader's part. This title was shortlisted for the Canadian Governor General's Literary Award. Ages 10-12. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554980543
Publisher:
Groundwood Books Ltd
Publication date:
11/01/1992
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Born in Merritt, B.C., Shirley was a member of the Interior Salish Nation of British Columbia. She earned a Bachelor of Education and a doctorate on oral traditions and the transmission of culture. She wrote My Name Is Seepeetza, which is based on her own childhood experiences at an Indian residential school. Acclaimed in both Canada and the United States, the book has won the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize. She also won the Laura Steiman Award for Children's Literature.

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