Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids

Deborah Ellis. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $15.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-55498-120-5
In an invaluable, eye-opening narrative history, Ellis (the Breadwinner series) presents interviews with dozens of youth ages nine to 18 from among the 565 federally recognized Native tribes in the United States and 617 First Nations communities in Canada. Ellis briefly introduces historical traumas that continue to resonate, from the 1830 Indian Removal Act, attacks on Indigenous language and culture, and the forcible removal of Native children from their homes to government-sponsored, church-run industrial boarding schools. After establishing each setting, Ellis shares the children's first-person stories, which matter-of-factly address the influence of their heritages on their home environments, views, and communities. Valene, an 18-year-old Cree, after describing years of bouncing from home to foster care to crisis center, acknowledges, "My younger siblings can say I love you, but I can't." Fourteen-year-old Danton, a talented Métis musician, says, "We are so lucky to be alive at a time when we are encouraged to be proud of who we are." Unsettling and sad, humorous and inspiring, these collected stories are a testament to the remarkable resilience these children marshal in the face of significant challenges. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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