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 bullies of residential school, updated for a new generation of readers.
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 new 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.
• 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.
• the introduction and the first chapter of A Stranger at Home, the sequel to Fatty Legs.
• 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.
Christy Jordan-Fenton vit à Fort St. John, en Colombie-Britannique, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton est sa belle-mère.
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.
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.
Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambe Pueblo) is the renowned educator, critic, and founder of American Indians in Children's Literature blog.
- Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
- Short-listed, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
- Joint winner, First Nation Communities Read Selection
- Joint winner, Ten Best Children’s Books of the Year, The Globe and Mail