Saturday, January 8, 2011
Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Fatty Legs is a simple but powerful book about residential schools in the 1940's in Canada. I've always known that the main goal of residential schools was to eliminate the culture and history of the Aboriginal people. Reading the experiences of an 8 year old who is forced to abandon all that she is familiar with was very hard. I was shocked at how the nuns who were there to 'teach' these children treated them without love or affection. At the same time I was also very impressed with the strength that Margaret showed in staying true to her beliefs and her desire to learn to read and write. Throughout the story, the voice of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton was incredibly strong as she explains what drew her to want to attend a school away from home and what made her want to go back to her family.
This would be a great book to read for Grade 6 Social Studies, it would be a quick read aloud or could be used as a literature circle. No matter how it is used, there is certainly lots to talk about in it.