These Are My Words

These Are My Words

The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
2
1
Rate this:
Violet Pesheens struggles to adjust to her new life at residential school. She fears forgetting the things she treasures most, such as her traditional customs and Anishnabe language.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Scholastic Canada Ltd., [2016]
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9781443133180
1443133183
Characteristics: 186 pages :,illustrations, map.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

a
aepearson21
Mar 16, 2017

This was a really great book!! Very interesting of how these children were made to go to this residential school!!

a
akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens by Ruby Slipperjack tells the story of 12 year old Violet (Pynut) and her experience at a residential school during the years 1966 and 1967. Like previous Dear Canada books, the novel is told in a diary-like format. If you’re unfamiliar with the Dear Canada series, they are books published by Scholastic Canada with the purpose of introducing middle grade readers to Canadian history through fictionalized diary entries, along with an epilogue, historical note and (usually) real photographs and maps. Most of the books are written by different authors but the format is always the same.

The diary-like format has always been my favourite thing about this series and THESE ARE MY WORDS is no exception. The diary entries help with bringing the reader back in time and makes Violet seem all the more real.

I could immediately get into this book and the story itself was fantastic, but Violet’s characterization fell a bit short for me. She didn’t seem to have much of a personality and I couldn’t get a strong sense of the emotions she was feeling. I understood she felt angry, scared, anxious and on occasion joy, but it was more told than shown. I thought at times maybe we didn’t fully see her personality because of the way residential schools were; Violet would have gotten in serious trouble for the things she wrote. I also thought that, this being a diary, she could have at the same time poured everything she had into it. Residential schools did drain children in every possible way, mentally, emotionally, and physically, so it’s also possible that at the end of the day Violet didn’t have a lot to share.

The first couple pages were very powerful, showing the horrific ways Indigenous children like Violet were treated. One of the worst was when Violet was given a number. Being reduced to #75 really made an impact. Unfortunately, the last couple pages didn’t have the same effect and it didn’t feel like an ending. I didn’t really feel like Violet’s story was over, unlike other books in this series.

THESE ARE MY WORDS is really great for introducing middle grade readers to the history of residential schools and Canadian history. Like other Dear Canada books, this novel was outstanding and I read it from start to finish. I recommend that all teachers, librarians and parents buy this for their MG readers. I don’t think many people realize how close to us residential schools have existed. The author mentions in the historical note that the last residential school closed in 1998. 1998! That’s only an 18 year difference from this book’s publication date. I haven’t read this series for years so I’m really happy this was the book that brought me back into it.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

a
akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

akzfineart thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at OPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top