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Children's Nonfiction Native Canadian

Fatty Legs (10th anniversary edition)

by (author) Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton & Christy Jordan-Fenton

illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes

foreword by Debbie Reese

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2020
Native Canadian, General, Cultural Heritage, Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 11
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 11


The beloved story of an Inuvialuit girl standing up to the injustices of residential school.

Margaret Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton’s powerful story of residential school in the far North has been reissued to commemorate the memoir’s 10th anniversary with updates to the text, reflections on the book’s impact, and a bonus chapter from the acclaimed follow-up, A Stranger at Home. New content includes a foreword from Dr. Debbie Reese, noted Indigenous scholar and founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature, while Christy Jordan-Fenton, mother of Margaret’s grandchildren and a key player in helping Margaret share her stories, discusses the impact of the book in a new preface.

With important updates since it first hit the shelves a decade ago, this audiobook edition of Fatty Legs will continue to resonate with readers young and old.

New and updated content includes

  • a note on the right to silence. This piece asks readers to be mindful that not all survivors of residential school will wish to talk about their experiences, and that their silence should be respected.
  • audiobook features original song "Say Your Name" by acclaimed artist Keith Secola, a song inspired by Olemaun's story. See the video at
  • a table of contents to ensure all the added materials are easy to find.
  • a foreword by noted Indigenous scholar Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo), founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature. The foreword discusses the biased portrayal of Indigenous people in children’s literature throughout history and the exclusion of Indigenous people from the ability to tell their own stories.
  • a preface by Christy Jordan-Fenton sharing the way she first heard Margaret-Olemaun’s story of going away to residential school. It also covers the impact of the book and how much has changed in the past ten years.
  • a note on language. This piece reviews the universal changes in language that have been made to the book since the original edition and also establishes the language choices made in the new material.
  • a note on the writing process. This piece by Christy explores how she works with Margaret-Olemaun to get Olemaun’s stories down on paper.
  • a revised and updated afterword by Christy Jordan-Fenton.

About the authors

Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton is an Inuvialuk elder and artisan who spent her early years on Banks Island in the high Arctic. She now lives in Fort St. John, British Columbia.


Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton's profile page


Christy Jordan-Fenton vit à Fort St. John, en Colombie-Britannique, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton est sa belle-mère.


Christy Jordan-Fenton
has been an infantry soldier, a pipeline laborer, a survival instructor,
and a bare back bronco rider. Christy has also worked with street children.
She was born just outside Rimbey, Alberta, and has lived in Australia,
South Africa, and the United States. She now lives near Fort St. John,
British Columbia. Christy works with her mother in law, Margaret
Pokiak-Fenton, to write stories.


Christy Jordan-Fenton's profile page

Liz Amini-Holmes lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and ever-growing menagerie of pets. When Liz is not illustrating, she is working on a Masters in Art Therapy, teaching, and obsessively reading and watching detective stories.

Liz Amini-Holmes' profile page

Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambe Pueblo) is the renowned educator, critic, and founder of American Indians in Children's Literature blog.

Debbie Reese's profile page


  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
  • Runner-up, Nautilus Silver Award Winner
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Joint winner, USBBY International Books Honor List
  • Joint winner, Skipping Stones Honor Award
  • Joint winner, First Nation Communities Read Selection
  • Commended, Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Honour Book
  • Commended, PubWest Book Design Awards, Bronze Award
  • Short-listed, Golden Oak Award
  • Joint winner, Ten Best Children’s Books of the Year, The Globe and Mail

Editorial Reviews

“A moving and believable account.”—Kirkus Reviews,*starred review, 11/10

Kirkus Reviews

“A story of ingenuity, healing and resilience.”—, 12/22/14


“An excellent addition to any biography collection, the book is fascinating and unique, and yet universal in its message.”—School Library Journal, 12/10

School Library Journal

“A strong, clear voice.”—The Horn Book, 10/09/17

The Horn Book

“Margaret’s character is engaging—her persistence, her strength, and her curiosity touch the reader.”—CM Reviews, 11/10

CM Reviews

“Presents a unique and enlightening glimpse into the residential school experience and, most importantly, one little girl’s triumph over her oppressors.”—Quill & Quire, 11/10

Quill & Quire

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