Monday, April 16, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: Stranger at Home

A Stranger At Home: A True Story Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

I haven't read Fatty Legs: A True Story, the story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's time at a church run residential school. A Stranger At Home is the story of what happens when she returns home to her Arctic village, Tuktoyaktuk, after two years at the school.

Only when she gets home, her mother no longer recognizes her. She no longer remembers the Inuit language, her native tongue. Her once favorite food, muktuk (made from whale blubber and skin) now makes her sick.

She has become one of "them," the outsiders who try to change the Inuit way of life, the ones who made her two years at school a horrible experience. Only her father, who also attended one of the church schools, knows what she is going through.

Slowly, Pokiak-Fenton figures out how to fit back in at home, even though she's not the same girl she was when she left it.

You don't need to read Fatty Legs to appreciate this story. The language is simple and is a good fit for younger middle grade readers. But it's still a moving story that will speak to older readers as well. There are several photographs, as well as full-color illustrations by Liz Amini-Holmes. There are also small photographs and in the margins and little facts to help understand life in Tuktoyaktuk.

It's a very good and interesting read. I want to seek out Fatty Legs so I can know more of the story.

Be sure to check out today's Nonfiction Monday round-up over at the Nonfiction Detectives.

Book Provided by... the publisher, for Cybils consideration

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