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Children's Nonfiction Native Canadian

Gaawin Gindaaswin Ndaawsii / I Am Not a Number

by (author) Jenny Kay Dupuis & Kathy Kacer

illustrated by Gillian Newland

translated by Muriel Sawyer & Geraldine McLeod

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Native Canadian, Prejudice & Racism, Native American, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 11
  • Grade: 3 to 6
  • Reading age: 7 to 11


The dual language edition, in Nishnaabemwin (Ojibwe) Nbisiing dialect and English, of the award-winning I Am Not a Number. When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.

About the authors


D'origine Ojibway/Anishinaabe, Jenny Kay Dupuis est fière d'être membre de la Première Nation de Nipissing. La volonté de Jenny de faire connaître les enjeux autochtones, ainsi que son intérêt pour l'histoire de sa famille, l'ont poussée à écrire le récit des expériences de sa grand-mère, Irene Couchie. Jenny vit à Toronto, où elle travaille à améliorer l'éducation du peuple autochtone.


Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis is an Anishinaabe/Ojibway who is a proud member of Nipissing First Nation. She is an educator, researcher, artist, and speaker who works full-time supporting the advancement of Indigenous education. Jenny's interest in her family's past and her commitment to teaching Indigenous issues through literature drew her to co-write Je ne suis pas un numéro, her first children's book. She lives in Toronto.


Jenny Kay Dupuis' profile page


Kathy Kacer est une auteure primée qui a écrit de nombreux livres sur l'holocauste pour les jeunes lecteurs, dont The Magician of Auschwitz, L'histoire d'Edith, Le journal de Sara et Les espions de la nuit. Elle s'estime honorée de contribuer à faire connaître l'histoire familiale de Jenny Kay Dupuis. Kathy vit avec sa famille à Toronto.


Kathy Kacer has won many awards for her writing, including the American Jewish Library Association Award. In 1999, she wrote the first book in Second Story's Holocaust Remembrance Series, The Secret of Gabi's Dresser. Since then, she's penned four other books in the series. Kacer now writes about the Holocaust for young readers and travels the country speaking about it. Kacer lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family.

Kathy Kacer's profile page


Gillian Newland est une artiste qui travaille principalement à l'aquarelle, à l'encre et au crayon. Elle trouve son inspiration en dessinant à l'extérieur de son studio. On la voit parfois dans un café, en train de faire des croquis des autres clients. Elle a illustré The Magician of Auschwitz et de nombreux autres livres. Gillian vit à Toronto.


Gillian Newland is an artist who lives and works in Toronto. In addition to illustrating a number of picture books, her artwork can be seen on several young adult novels and in magazines. She has won the Ruth Schwartz Award and been nominated for the Lane Anderson Award.


Gillian Newland's profile page

Muriel Sawyer's profile page

Geraldine McLeod's profile page


  • Long-listed, Native Voices in November: A Booklist for Students, Parents & Educators
  • Winner, Hackmatack Award
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch Express Award
  • Winner, Red Cedar Award for Information Book
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens - Spring 2017
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Short-listed, Information Book Award
  • Winner, Diamond Willow Award
  • Commended, CCBC Choices - Best Books of the Year
  • Commended, CBC Books' Best Books of the Year
  • Commended, American Indians in Children's Literature Best Books of the Year
  • Commended, Ontario Library Association's Best Bets - Junior Nonfiction
  • Commended, Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Notable Children's Books

Other titles by Jenny Kay Dupuis

Other titles by Kathy Kacer

Other titles by Gillian Newland

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