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The Secret of Your Name
     

The Secret of Your Name

by David Bouchard
 

Canada's Metis people are the only mixed-blood people on the earth recognized by every level of government as being a nation. The Metis have their own language, flag, song and stories. They have exciting traditions and a proud history. Sadly, their journey has been one of hardships, denial and often lies. In The Secret of Your Name, these three men open

Overview

Canada's Metis people are the only mixed-blood people on the earth recognized by every level of government as being a nation. The Metis have their own language, flag, song and stories. They have exciting traditions and a proud history. Sadly, their journey has been one of hardships, denial and often lies. In The Secret of Your Name, these three men open their hearts to all those who care to know what it means when it is said that we are proud to be Metis!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In English and Michif, Bouchard, whose grandmothers were Anishnaabe, Chippewa, Menominee and Innu, honours those 'Kokums, ' of whom he is so proud. . . Dennis Weber's wonderfully textured paintings add further luminescence to an emotionally powerful book."

-- The Globe and Mail

"The use of language is beautiful and poetic, drawing in the reader with its rhythms and patterns into a very intimate and moving story. There is something very haunting throughout, a sense of longing and awakening that eventually gives rise to understanding, transformation of self, and the embracing of that new self. Though the story may be challenging to some younger readers, the text is simple and the illustrations provide fabulous details. Weber's oil paintings are gorgeous, reflecting the sense of loss, longing, and searching that the author experiences. Perhaps the best of these paintings is also the book's cover - the author peers into a hollowed-out log in which water has collected and sees the reflection of an ancestor he'd never before known."

Rating: E - Excellent

-- Resource Links

"The paintings paired with Bouchard's text on each page trace the history of the Métis people and their traditions. Combined with Arcand's music, The Secret of Your Name serves as a much-needed multimedia resource for middle grade to young adult readers looking to learn more about the history and future of Métis culture."

-- Canadian Bookseller

"In The Secret of Your Name, David Bouchard - prolific author, literacy advocate, and Member of the Order of Canada - delivers a succinct but powerful account of personal discovery. . . The Secret of Your Name is a must-have title for Canadiana and Aboriginal collections, Métis communities and families, and libraries providing support for Aboriginal curricula at all academic levels."

-- Quill & Quire

"David Bouchard's latest book, The Secret of Your Name, is a proud declaration of his Métis heritage and, at the same time, a humble apology to his forebears for not rejoicing in his heritage earlier. . . In many respects, Bouchard's poetic text is deeply personal and intimate. Bouchard's revelation of the discovery of his Métis culture, his pride in that identity, but his simultaneous regret that it was suppressed for so long is, on one level, a complex, sophisticated text that will demand maturity of his readers. Yet, Bouchard's word choices and Weber's artwork assist the reader in navigating what might otherwise be a puzzling journey. . . Weber's realistic, full colour paintings supplement Bouchard's words, adding an extra dimension to the feelings Bouchard is trying to express. . . The Secret of Your Name will especially appeal to people with Métis heritage. The book, however, offers an interesting insight into Canada and her history and so is likely to appeal to many people regardless of Métis links."

Recommended.

-- CM Magazine

"I absolutely love the books by Red Deer Press. While they are mainly aimed at children, these books are consistently beautifully illustrated and incredibly informative - always of the highest quality and The Secret of your Name is no exception. This hardcover book actually comes with a CD - and takes an in-depth look at our heritage, mainly exploring the world of the Métis. . . What a beautiful book."

-- bookshipper.blogspot.com

Kirkus Reviews
A moving poem gives voice to the yearning of a Metis man for the names of his Native ancestors. In modified ballad form (sometimes rhymed, sometimes unrhymed), the poet addresses these grandmothers whose names have been obscured by racism and cultural self-hatred. "I don't know how to tell you / I can only say I'm sorry / That no one ever told me / That you were Anishnaabe." Metis artist Weber provides monumental paintings of both imagined historical scenes of French trappers and First Nations people in the wilderness and portraits of key Metis figures, including the author, with candy-striped Hudson's Bay Company blankets and coats providing a visual through-line. Fleury's Michif translation runs alongside the English text, and the accompanying CD (featuring noted Metis fiddler John Arcand) presents both read aloud. An introduction contextualizes the poem in history. The white text set on mostly earth-brown backgrounds is occasionally difficult to read, but this provides a window on a culture largely unknown in the United States, though its burden will be felt by many whose pasts have disappeared in the Melting Pot. (Poetry. 10 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780889954397
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
05/01/2010
Edition description:
Bilingual
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

David Bouchard is a Red Deer Press author.

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