Walking Backward by Catherine Austen. It would make an interesting read aloud or sections would make an interesting read aloud in a World Religions course. Josh is exploring death and grieving in many different religious traditions because his mother has died and he doesn’t know how he is supposed to grieve because he isn’t from a particular faith group. The main character is completely impossible and yet the author captures such an authentic feeling voice, you can ignore the unlikely nature of him. I loved this book. Suitable for grades 5-8 and up. Realistic fiction, humourous elements but serious subject. Themes: friendship, family, death and grieving.
fatty legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton. This autobiographical story tells of the residential school experience for a strong and determined girl in Canada’s far north. Honestly told, an important piece of Canadian history, told without hate. An inspiring read. The illustrations by Liz Amini-Holmes and photographs from Margaret add immeasurably to the experience of this book. Suitable for grades 3 and up. It would be good to share with a digital camera projecting the images as the book is fairly small for holding up. Themes: survival, family, the North, residential school.