Sunday, October 4, 2020

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett

When We Were Alone written by David A. Robertson and  illustrated by Julie Flett was published in 2016. Robertson tells the story of a child helping her kokom (grandmother) in the garden and asks her questions about why she likes so many colors among other questions. Through these question, the child learns about her kokom's experience of being sent to a residential school with her brother and how restrictive the school was. 

Everything was taken from her and her brother: their long hair, their language, their brightly colored clothing, and their families. She explains how she was able to get through that hard experience and how she appreciates having all of those things in her life now. She explains to her granddaughter how when they were alone, she and her friends and brother would get around the rules. 

This book introduces children to the reality of residential schools. Both the author the illustrator are Native Americans. Julie Flett's illustrations are beautiful as always and portray the emotion of the story. I like the use of Native language in the story and the gentle way Robertson tells the story. I always love a story with a wonderful grandmother because I was blessed with such a good one. 

Teresa Moore donated 20 hardbacks to our NICU book project. I appreciate her support of our project, and hardbacks are always in short supply for us. 

Link to our NICU book registry to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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