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When I Was Eight tells the story of Olemaun, a young Inuit girl desperate to learn to read English. Against her father's better judgement, she is sent to school where she faces many cruelties at the hands of the nuns. In spite of the challenges she faced, Margaret, as the nuns call her, is determined to read. This story is the condensed version of "Fatty Legs" the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and her experience at residential school.
When I Was Eight makes the story of residential schools more accessible to a younger audience. With its themes of anti-bullying, the book could be read for Pink Shirt Day as a conversation starter or in an unit for a class studying Inuit culture. For older grades, the book could be used to discuss social justice issues.
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