When I Was Eight
Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. Ignoring her father's warnings, she travels far from her Arctic home to the outsiders' school to learn.
The nuns at the school call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do menial chores, but she remains undaunted. Her tenacity draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But the young girl is more determined than ever to learn how to read.
Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by stunning illustrations, When I Was Eight makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to younger readers. Now they, too, can meet this remarkable girl who reminds us what power we hold when we can read. (From Annick Press)
Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton was a Inuvialuit knowledge keeper and residential school survivor. She was the co-author of several books, including Fatty Legs: A True Story, A Stranger At Home and Not My Girl. She died in 2021.
Christy Jordan-Fenton is Pokiak-Fenton's daughter-in-law and co-author. She now lives in Fort St. John, B.C.
- Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Christy Jordan-Fenton talk about the 10th anniversary of children's book Fatty Legs
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