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Children's LiteratureThis poignant and poetic book tells the story of a young Indian girl who must leave her family to attend boarding school. The author's note at the beginning explains to readers that Canadian Indian children as young as four were forced to attend residential schools many miles away from their parents. Young Shi-shi-etko wistfully counts down the nights, or "sleeps," to her departure while, during the day, members of her family try to instill in her an appreciation for and understanding of her heritage. She retains everything, including the special bag of memories collected with her grandmother, which she hides in an old tree, obviously determined to return to her roots. The illustrations are aptly muted and autumnal, echoing the end of a way of life for Shi-shi-etko. The concept that Shi-shi-etko must leave while the adults, who clearly want her to stay, are powerless to stop her departure may be a bit disturbing for younger readers. 2005, Groundwood Books, Ages 4 to 8.