Today, Nadine (a librarian-in-training) wrote to me after she found my blog. We exchanged a few emails, during which I learned she's from Manitoba, Canada. She had some very cool news about In Search of April Raintree...
Written by Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, In Search of April Raintree is the book chosen for "On The Same Page: Manitoba Reads" --- a literacy project whose goal is to have 12,000 people (1% of the population of Manitoba) read the selected book between October 2008 through April 2009.
According to a review in CM: Canadian Review of Materials, it is widely used in junior and senior high schools, and university courses, too. The On The Same Page site includes a bio and among other things, an interview with her. One of the questions is
"Do you wish you could have read a book like In Search of April Raintree when you were young?"
"I have Metis people come up and tell me that In Search of April Raintree changed their lives. They grew up hiding their Aboriginal roots and with this book, they felt proud of April and proud of their roots. A lot of people, especially Aboriginal people, have told me that this story is their story because it's exactly what they went through: growing up in foster homes; alcoholism in the family, forced assimilation and racism is something that they can identify with."I read the novel years ago. It should be more widely read in the United States. Thanks, Nadine, for the info!
(Note: The cover image and photo of Mosionier are from the On The Same Page website.)
Update, Dec 23rd, 2008---Oyate carries April Raintree. I asked Beverly Slapin if it is the same book as In Search of April Raintree. She said:
IN SEARCH OF APRIL RAINTREE and APRIL RAINTREE were published together as separate titles. APRIL RAINTREE was the one more accessible for high school students, so that is the one we chose. The only difference, really, seems to be the rape scene, which is a little less graphic in the high school edition.