Friday, November 02, 2018

Highly Recommended: WHEN WE PLAY OUR DRUMS, THEY SING by Richard Van Camp + LUCY & LOLA by Monique Gray Smith

When We Play Our Drums, They Sing by Richard Van Camp and Lucy & Lola by Monique Gray Smith are two outstanding books... in one. Here's the covers:


If you get one, you will have the other. They are bound together in a single volume. When you flip the book over to see the back cover, what you see instead is the cover of the other book. And when you get to the end of each story you'll find these resources:

  • Language Guide
  • Reader's Guide
  • Author's Note

Van Camp's author's note tells us that his mother went to Residential school. He tells us that he recently worked up the courage to talk with his mother about her experiences. In her note, Monique Gray Smith writes that her family members were also in the schools. Both stories provide "insider perspectives" or to use the hashtag used today in literature circles to describe books like this, #OwnVoices.

In the United States, the schools are called boarding schools. These "exceptional nations" -- the US and Canada -- tried to stop Native people from being Native people. But those "exceptional nations"  failed.

Van Camp and Smith and their many books demonstrate the resilience of the people in their families--and the resilience of Indigenous peoples. Both stories are about modern-day kids, their families, and their communities. In them, you'll find pain, but you'll also find beauty in the characters and the writing, too. I highly recommend When We Play Our Drums, They Sing and Lucy & Lola. 

Note! Published in 2018 by McKeller and Martin, you can get them directly from them. Hit the link for instructions.


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