A Stranger At Home: A True Story by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton with illustrations by Liz Amini-Holmes is a moving sequel to the memoir Fatty Legs by the same team. It was nominated for a 2011 Cybils award in the MG/YA nonfiction category.
In Fatty Legs, Margaret Pokiak is a young Inuit girl who is sent off to a Catholic “residential” school at the age of eight to learn English and the ways of another culture. A Stranger At Home follows the trials of her return home after two years away. Instead of the happy reunion she had long awaited, Margaret (whose Inuit name is Olemaun) finds her own mother doesn’t recognize her and that coming home again is not as easy as it seems it should be.
Christy Jordan-Fenton is Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s daughter-in-law. She has done a marvelous job of capturing the first person voice of a young, scared Inuit who has been cut off from her roots. The dark-colored illustrations help maintain the atmosphere and the historical photographs fill out the setting.
Although this book takes up where Fatty Legs left off, it is really stands on its own as well. A Stranger At Home is a very readable book that stays with the reader even after the last page is done. Recommended for children interested in history, geography and other cultures.
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 124 pages
Publisher: Annick Press (July 14, 2011)
Fatty Legs: A True Story by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, with illustrations by Liz Amini-Holmes
Book provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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This week’s round-up is at Wende’s Wanderings.