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As Long as the Rivers Flow by Larry Loyie
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As Long as the Rivers Flow

by Larry Loyie, Constance Brissenden

Other authors: Heather D. Holmlund (Illustrator)

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Being at a community school I am always looking for First Nations content. This is a great story to introduce residential schools. The beautiful watercolours create a harmonious feel about the life before being taken from his family, looking after an owl, the killing of a great grizzly and spending time at the river. The fact that it is based on true event and has photos at the back reinforces what happened in this darker part of our history.
  Buella2140 | Nov 30, 2010 |
This is the story of one glorious summer, when 10 year old Lawrence spends time with his family – raising an orphaned owl with his siblings, proving his patience and endurance by tricking beavers, and confronting a grizzly bear with his grandmother. Throughout the story, the routines and little details of his family's daily life provide a rich realism to Lawrence's experiences. The family's complex relationship with nature is described throughout – as a source of food, entertainment, and beauty. While rumour that Lawrence and his siblings will be taken away to residential school overshadows the story, it is only in the final pages that this becomes the focus. I enjoyed tasting the richness and joy of Lawrence's life before he was taken – and it made the ending very poignant.
The story is autobiographical, and an epilogue briefly describes Lawrence's stay at school. There are wonderful black and white photographs showing different members of Lawrence's family.
The pictures are realistic and detailed watercolours, the faces of individuals are full of personality. You can see that people's faces have been copied from photographs. The animals and plants are also drawn with keen attention to detail.
The book has pictures on every page, but it divided into chapters, it is a read-aloud book, or for kids just starting chapter books. ( )
  francescadefreitas | Sep 29, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Larry Loyieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brissenden, Constancemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmlund, Heather D.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To my family and all young people who seek to know about a way of life that is fast disappearing.
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The baby owl linked its round yellow eyes at Lawrence, and the boy blinked back.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0888996969, Paperback)

Starting in the 1800s and continuing into the 20th century, First Nations children were forcibly taken to government-sponsored residential schools to erase their traditional languages and cultures. This moving book tells of one such child, author Larry Loyie, and his last summer with his Cree tribe. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl, watches his grandmother make winter moccasins, and sees her kill a huge grizzly with one shot. The sensitive text and Heather Holmlund's expressive illustrations beautifully capture the joy and drama of a First Nations family's last summer together.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Tells the story of Larry Loyie, a Cree Indian in Canada who was sent to a government school and later became a writer.

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