fatty legs: a true story
Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Art by Liz-Amini-Holme
This true story of 8-year-old Inuvialuit girl Olemaun Pokiak or Margaret as noted later in the story, unveils the 60-year secret of her nickname, “fatty legs” and her literacy journey. Through the first-person narrative, she recounts her experience in boarding school and the humiliating confrontation with Raven; a nun determined to break her shining spirit. It connects with young readers through storytelling practices, intentional and redolent imagery both in illustration and photographs, and simple footnotes throughout the text to explain things that may need a little extra information. Recommended for children 8-12 years of age, this story provides not only an outlet for sharing boarding school stories but also allows a way to connect younger readers with this difficult history. Margaret’s energy allows children a space to identify with her feelings toward discrimination and hardship without being dark and off-putting. Connecting both native and non-native children to the history of boarding school, this beautiful and captivating book highlights the resiliency of indigenous peoples.
BIBLIO: 2010, Annick Press Ltd., Ages 8 to 12, $12.95.
REVIEWER: Jessica Humphries
FORMAT: Middle Reader
**Originally Written for the University of Washington LIS 564: Multicultural Resources for Youth**