FICTION

Remembering Green: An Ojibwe Girl’s Tale

Eifrig. Sept. 2020. 34p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781632332714.
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K-Gr 3–Wenonah is a young Ojibwe girl who has run away from the school where they have cut her hair, taken away the clothes her family made for her, forced her to speak English, and even given her a new name—Evelyn. Depicted with the bronze skin color she shares with her great-grandfather, Wenonah is worried she will forget who she is, but he shows her to look around and be reminded of the world she comes from. Each of her senses reminds her how she is connected to the natural beauty of the land. Stilted language feels lifted from a John Wayne movie: “The white man has come and he does not understand our ways. Man fears that which he does not understand. He thinks his ways are best and that our ways are strange, so he seeks to change us.” The story is set against a brutal—and here, meticulously researched—era in U.S. history. The artwork in this story is beautiful. The lush color palette and vivid images, done in an Arts and Crafts style, perfectly complement the time period of the early 20th century, when many Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and sent to boarding schools. This era is covered thoroughly in the back matter, where there is also a glossary of the Ojibwe words used.
VERDICT Use this for teaching a piece of history, but not necessarily as a reflection of an #OwnVoices experience.
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