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HONOUR THE SUN.

Slipperjack, Ruby.

Winnipeg, Pemmican Publications, 1988. 224pp. paper. $12.95, ISBN 0-919143-44-X. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January


"Honour the sun, that it may bless you to come another day...." Throughout the book this awareness of and respect for the world around is a backboard against which the events in the story are bounced. An Indian girl living on a remote northern reserve records the events that touch her life over a period of six years. When the book opens, itís the girl's mother who reminds her family to "honour the sun." The widowed mother holds a large extended family together by the hard work required to live off the land.

The family, which varies from seven to twelve members, lives in a one-room cabin. Honour the Sun. should be required reading for all the white bureaucrats and teachers who cannot understand why native children have problems when they are sent away to school in more "civilized" locations. It is not difficult to understand how an adolescent who has grown up in such a close environment might have difficulty adjusting to life in the sterile, monklike student bedroom of a boarding house.

Anyone wanting to see an honest reflection of native life as it was and is would do well to start here. The book is simply written, as a girl between the ages of eleven and sixteen would write. For this reason it is appropriate for twelve-year-olds. This should not deter adults from reading it. for they could learn a great deal. Pemmican is to be commended for once again publishing a book that deals with a topic that few mainstream publishers have time for.


Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Ottawa, Ont.
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