CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Saskatoon, SK: Fifth House, 1985.
98pp., paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0920079-16-4. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Children's stories, Canadian-Indian authors.
Indians of North America-Canada-Folklore.
Indians of North America-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13

Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue.

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

The stories in this collection were the result of a series of workshops for native writers. Maria Campbell, who writes the introduction to the book, conducted the workshops, which were sponsored by Saskatchewan Education. As in many story collections, the quality is uneven. Jordan Wheeler contributes two stories that take the reader inside the world of animals. They would be a good addition to a classroom studying the animals (fish and worms) or as a jumping-off point for creative writing, but they stand well on their own and children will enjoy looking at the world from the animals' point of view. Wes Fineday's poignant story, "The Hockey Game," will appeal to adults as much as children. The story is about a native boy who is far from home and boarding with a white family. After reading it one hopes that there will be more where that came from . On the other hand, Priscilla Settee needs to spend a lot of time honing her craft before she shares more of her efforts with the world. Her story is about two Indian girls who go to Mexico and find that Canadian Indians have a lot in common with Mexican Indians. The story is disjointed, difficult to follow, and, at times, simply uninteresting.

Interspersed among the stories are full-page coloured reproductions of contemporary art by native artists. The art is an interesting addition to the book, though it is difficult to say whether or not it complements the stories. A teacher's guide is being prepared by Saskatchewan Education. It will be available from the publisher for $2.50. In deciding whether or not to buy this book, one must decide whether to buy on strengths or on weaknesses. There are easily enough strengths to justify its purchase for anyone wanting to add native content to their collections.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, James Bay Eeyou School, James Bay, PQ.
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