Books to Read for Orange Shirt Day

Books to Read for Orange Shirt Day

We at Orca are taking time this Orange Shirt Day to acknowledge the harmful effects of residential schools on Indigenous communities. We honor survivors and their families and commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.

This week, we are highlighting inspiring books created by Indigenous authors and illustrators. We hope you will enjoy them and share them with the young people in your life.

This beautifully illustrated dual-language picture book, written by award-winning Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, explores all the hopes adults have for the children in their lives. In English and Plains Cree.

“A stunning, holistic body of work (both text and art) which is grounded in the teachings of many Indigenous Nation’s worldviews…Highly recommended.” —Canadian Children’s Book News

You Hold Me Up is a gentle but effective way to introduce the topic of Reconciliation to students of all ages.” —ETFO Voice

“Van Camp composes a lyrical ode to a newborn child, which is matched in its loveliness by Flett’s exquisite, collage-like images of a young one with his or her parents.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “A quiet loveliness, sense of gratitude, and—yes—happiness emanate from this tender celebration of simple pleasures, which features a cast of First Nations children and adults…” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A sweet and loving board book…The parents’ certainty that their baby is ‘the best of all of us’ is an affirmation every baby should hear.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Simple statements have the resonance of affirmations and establish a clear chain of connectedness…A visual feast for families interested in seeing the Native world through small, kind deeds.” —Kirkus Reviews

★ “Readers will be left with a rich image of Mia’s world and the family and people that surround her as well as a strong sense of how culture and class impact people’s experiences. A touching exploration of identity and culture.” —Kirkus Reviews

This nonfiction book for middle-grade readers, illustrated with photographs, tells the story of the making of the Witness Blanket, a work by Indigenous artist Carey Newman that includes items from every residential school in Canada and stories from the Survivors who donated them.

★ “Clearly organized and educational—an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries…This comprehensive primer of the history and importance of the powwow in North American Indigenous culture is a necessary purchase.” —School Library Journal, starred review

★ “Smith thoroughly and compassionately examines the history and traumatic aftereffects of Canada’s residential schools…Smith informs without overwhelming or sugarcoating, and she emphasizes the power readers themselves possess.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “A powerful testimony to the strength and resiliency of survivors and their families as well as the lasting impact that these institutions and policies have had within Indigenous communities. Highly recommended.” —Canadian Children’s Book News, starred review

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