________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 13 . . . . March 4, 2005



Pamela Porter. Illustrated by Mary Jane Gerber.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood, 2004.
83 pp., cloth, $8.95.
ISBN 0-88899-607-1.

Subject Headings:
Métis-Juvenile fiction.
Blackfeet Indian Reservation (Mont.)-Juvenile fiction.
Horses-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Shelly Tyler.

* /4


Recess was the worst, though. Me and Jenny would try and stay out of the way, but some of the big white boys liked to find us and dance around hollering and slapping their hands over their mouths.

1964 was a time of blatant racial discrimination and hardship for the North American Indian. Georgia is an 11-year-old Cree girl, orphaned by her parents, living with her elderly grandparents. When a flood washes out any trace of their home, Georgia is forced to be brave and resourceful to help her family get their lives back together. Finding an abandoned foal she names Sky changes everything for her. The horse, Sky, represents the life and hardships Georgia feels she has lived through. Sky had overcome the ravages of the flood and survived, as Georgia did with the death of her parents. Georgia decides to keep the horse, if only to finally have something to call her very own.

A scar over her right eye. Me, over my left. I figured she was a survivor for sure, and we had a few things in common.

     I found the sentence structure in Sky very distracting while reading. As an adult, I understood that Georgia was a Cree Indian, and thus her speech pattern was supposed to mimic broken English, but for young readers this might confuse them. The speech used would have made more sense if it had only been used for Georgia's dialogue, but it was used randomly in descriptive paragraphs as well. There was seemingly no consistency to the writing. A young reader could be turned off by this style of writing, as it takes a real effort to literally translate the dialogue and form the idea the author is trying to get across. Due to the language, I spent a lot of time re-reading passages.

I known all the answers to the test, but some of the white girls across the aisle from me written up a cheat sheet with the answers on it.

     I do not recommend this book due to the effort it took to read and understand as well as the lack of flow to the story.

Not Recommended.

Shelly Tyler is a Reference Librarian with the Manitoba Department of Education Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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