Required Purchase: Speaking Our Truth


As I have mentioned lately, I’m struggling to find the time to post for each book that I read. However, some titles are so urgent and timely and important that I need to get them out to everyone I know as quickly as I can. This is one of those books. It’s a title I feel incredibly strongly about, and after reading the review copy I received from Orca Publishers, I feel the need to shout about it from the rooftops. I have also included some other great reviews, posts, book lists etc for Native American Heritage Month at the end of this post.

And, because I am NOT an Own Voices reviewer of this title, I am going to let the book speak for itself and not offer a full review. As a school librarian, however, I will say that it is a required purchase. It is written in a very accessible format and while it is focused on reconciliation in Canada, it is 100% applicable to readers in the US as well, given the shared history and experiences with the Residential School system.

Disclosure: I received both of these books as complimentary review copies upon request from Orca Publishers. I have donated them to my school library. 

speaking our truthSpeaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith
(Orca ~ September 19, 2017)
Ages 8 and up

Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the Residential School system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.

Watch Monique Gray Smith’s video explaining why people need to learn about Reconciliation.

Here are some great reviews of this title:

Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Reading While White

Monique Gray Smith has also just released another title ~ a picture book titled You Hold You hold me upMe Up (Orca ~ October 31, 2017) that is dedicated to the children, families and staff of Aboriginal Head Start programs. It was written “to remind us of our common humanity and the importance of holding each other up with respect and dignity. I hope it is a foundational book for our littlest citizens. A book that encourages dialogue among children, their families, their care providers and their educators. At its heart, it is a book about love, building relationships and fostering empathy.”

This is a story that I will be sharing in my preschool story times and recommend for all libraries and classrooms that serve our youngest children.

Some related reading:

Rich In Color – Native Perspectives
Native American Heritage Month
Anything and everything on the American Indians in Childrens Literature website 

I also received an email newsletter from Book Riot with an awesome list of Native American YA Reads but realized I can’t link it here! I’m sorry! I can’t find it on their website but if you want to comment here with your email I will forward it to you.

AND lastly, if you’re wondering (which I was until reading this last year)……..this is from the sidebar of the AICL website:

American Indian? Or, Native American? There is no agreement among Native peoples. Both are used. It is best to be specific. Example: Instead of “Debbie Reese, a Native American,” say “Debbie Reese, a Nambe Pueblo Indian woman.”

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