Fatty Legs

Fatty Legs

Book - 2010
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Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls -- all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school. In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity. Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's collection and striking artworks from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.
Publisher: Toronto : Annick Press, 2010.
ISBN: 9781554512461
Branch Call Number: JB Fent


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ArapahoeLesley Jul 06, 2018

This is a great introduction to the reality and injustices of Canadian residential schools. This individual Inuit girls story is of course softened for the children's book but still resonates and helps to keep this important issue from being forgotten.

Apr 11, 2018

I wondered why the daughter-in-law got co-authorship with the mother-in-law, as she has no obvious connection (besides marriage), no first hand experience with subject, or writing qualifications. The illustrations are lovely, but add little to the story, in fact, often I wondered what a word meant, or what a scene must have looked like, but no corresponding drawing, although sometimes footnotes. The photos were small, and the labels smaller, and grouped at the back; repetitive to story.

May 18, 2017

Buy this book for an adolescent you know.

vpl_childrens Aug 04, 2016

The true story of a young Inuvialuit girl who goes to residential school to learn to read but is cruelly bullied by a nun who makes her wear red stockings when all the other students wear grey. Despite harsh treatment, Olemaun, renamed Margaret, remains strong in spirit. The story is beautifully illustrated with both art and photos.

Oct 14, 2014

Although I have read stories on such situations. It give a great insight to a girl's struggle to be strong in difficult situations. Her strong "never give up" attitude is protrayed well. I loved reading the book.

Jul 07, 2014

great book, i loved the part where she got rid of the big fat stockings. Again great book

Jul 04, 2013

I loved this book. Margaret was so brave to stand up to the nuns and just ignore them. If that would have been me I would be freaked out. And the other girl, I think you know who I mean, was such a brat. I wanted to slap her so bad man. Overall this book was amazing but not my type. I'll rate it 3 and a half stars. Good book!

Mar 30, 2012

Margaret Pokiak-Fenton wanted to go to school, she wanted to learn to read. Her family is against it, warning her that the school will cut her hair, give her lots of heavy chores to do and not let her speak her language. Margaret doesn't care, focusing instead on her goal of reading. Once at school, Margaret discovers that the reality is far worse than she imagined. She doesn't even get to start lessons until months after her arrival, instead she is forced to do lots of disgusting, heavy chores. When lessons finally start, her teacher singles Margaret out for cruel treatment, mocking her and encouraging the other students to do the same. Margaret must learn to stand up for herself, learn to read and even survive as winter and sickness hit the school.

Illustrated with a combination of Liz Amini-Holmes's drawings and Margaret's pictures, this is a fascinating, real life tale of a young girl's time in a residential school. This should be mandatory reading for everyone.

BPLNextBestKids Jan 10, 2012

Set in the 1940’s, this is the story of a headstrong young girl from an Inuvialuit community who attends a residential school in the Arctic. She begged her parents to send her … she had a burning desire to learn to read. They reluctantly sent her, and she stayed for two years … and was stripped of her Native identity. Through it all, Margaret remains positive – and triumphs over her oppressors. Fascinating photos included.
Reviewed by BLP staff JK

PPLBecky Oct 13, 2011

2011-12 First Nation Communities Read selection.

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Mar 29, 2018

Cobin thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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