STOLEN WORDS
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STOLEN WORDS

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The story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language – Cree – he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

Melanie Florence is an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage. She wrote Stolen Words in honor of her grandfather. Melanie never had the chance to speak to him about his Cree heritage, and the story is about the healing relationship she wishes she had been able to have with him. Her book Jordin Tootoo was an American Indian Library Association Honor Book, and Missing Nimama won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Melanie lives with her family in Toronto. Gabrielle Grimard uses various media to research and create the illustrations for a book, but her favorite aspect will always be color. She uses mainly watercolors, gouache, and oil. She adds a touch of wooden pencil for the details. She has illustrated dozens of books and has been nominated for several awards. She lives near Sherbrooke, Quebec.


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