Reviewed by Debbie Reese
When We Were Alone is one of those books that brought forth a lot of emotion as I read it. There were sighs of sadness for what Native people experienced at boarding schools, and sighs of—I don’t know, love, maybe—for our perseverance through it all.
The story is meant for young children, though of course, readers of any age can—and should—read it. Continue reading.
When We Were Alone by David Robertson
Published by Portage & Main Press on 2016-12
Genres: American Indians First Nations Metis Inuit, Family
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: American Indians in Children's Literature
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When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother's garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength.
When We Were Alone won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award in the Young People's Literature (Illustrated Books) category, and was nominated for the TD Canadian's Children's Literature Award.