by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls -- all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school. In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity.
Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's collection and striking artworks from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.
Target age: 8-12
About the Contributors:
Christy Jordan-Fenton lives near Fort St. John, British Columbia. Margaret Pokiak-Fenton is her mother-in-law.
Margaret Pokiak-Fenton spent her early years on Banks Island in the Arctic Ocean. She now lives in Fort St. John.
Liz Amini-Holmes has illustrated many children's books and lives near San Francisco, California.