Winnipeg's TD Kids Book Club celebrates intergenerational storytelling with David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson helps students understand the significance of personal histories with his latest book, When We Were Alone.
David Alexander Robertson is the author of several books, including the children's book When We Were Alone. (David A. Robertson/Portage & Main Press)

During this year's TD Kids Book Club event in Winnipeg, 125 children from Laura Secord and Heritage Schools discussed the importance of identity with David A. Robertson, the author of When We Were Alone, a picture book about residential schools. 

Students between Grades 2-4 gathered in the hall dedicated to Truth and Reconciliation at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to ask Robertson about his book and about the history of residential schools in Canada.

CBC Winnipeg Weekend Morning Show host, Nadia Kidwai, introduced author David A. Robertson to 125 students at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Oct. 18, 2017. (CBC Books)

When We Were Alone was nominated for the 2017 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, and the Winnipeg event was one of six TD Kids Book Clubs taking place across Canada. 

Students listened as Robertson recalled his father's experience of learning English at a day school. Cree became the language his father spoke with his friends, but they had to hide from their teachers to do so. The personal account allowed students to draw parallels between Robertson's life and his book.

2017 Winnipeg TD Kids Book Club with David Alexander Robertson

6 years ago
Duration 1:24
The author of When We Were Alone visits students from Winnipeg's Laura Secord and Heritage Schools.

After a reading and Q&A session with the author, conducted by The Weekend Morning Show's Nadia Kidwai, students had the opportunity to ask their own questions about this period in Canadian history. 

Community members also participated in a reading of When We Were Alone, with Winnipeg's Geraldine 'Gramma' Shingoose taking on the role of the grandmother and her friend Emily Boxshall reading the part of the granddaughter. 

2017 TD Book Club Winnipeg Local Reading

6 years ago
Duration 1:36
Local child and elder, reading When we Were Alone aloud, in the roles of the granddaughter and her nókom for Winnipeg's TD Kids Book Club 2017.