Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 11
- Grade: 4 to 6
Return to the valleys of the River of Mists with author Hetxw'ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) and his award-winning, richly illustrative Mothers of Xsan series.
“An incredible celebration of the deep connections that are essential to the relationships between mothers and their children”—The Globe and Mail
Nox xsgyaak, the eagle mother, cares for her brood in the embrace of a black cottonwood with the help of her mate. Will both eaglets survive the summer in an environment that is both delicate and unforgiving?
Learn about the life cycle of these stunning birds of prey, the traditions of the Gitxsan, and how bald eagles can enrich their entire ecosystem. Evocative illustration brings the Xsan's flora and fauna to life for middle years readers in book three of the Mothers of Xsan series.
About the authors
Hetxw'ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson (he/him/his), is from the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Growing up in this strong matrilineal society, Brett developed a passion for the culture, land, and politics of his people, and a desire to share their knowledge and stories. Brett has worked in the film and television industry for over 13 years and is a volunteer board member for organizations such as Ka Ni Kanichihk and sākihiwē festival. Brett also works with the Prairie Climate Centre to connect western science and Indigenous Knowledges.
The award-winning Mothers of Xsan series is Brett’s first series of books and part of a larger vision to share the worlds of the Gitxsan Nation. With the support of his wife, Jeri, and their children, Warren and Ruby, Brett endeavours to continue sharing stories with his writing, artwork, and photography.
Natasha Donovan is the illustrator of the award-winning Mothers of Xsan series (written by Brett Huson). She illustrated the graphic novel Surviving the City (written by Tasha Spillett), which won a Manitoba Book Award and received an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA) honor. She also illustrated Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer which won an Orbis Pictus Honor Book and an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA). Natasha is Métis, and spent her early life in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although she moved to the United States to marry a mathematician, she prefers to keep her own calculations to the world of color and line. She lives in Washington. www.natashadonovan.com
- Short-listed, McNally Robinson Book for Young People (Younger Category)
- Nominated, Red Cedar Book Awards
- Short-listed, Norma Fleck Award
- Nominated, Information Book Award
An incredible celebration of the deep connections that are essential to the relationships between mothers and their children in the animal world. Donovan's illustrations exquisitely enrich Hudson's text, beautifully melding Indigenous art motifs into her images of the eagle families.
The Globe and Mail
Among AICL's Best Books of 2020
American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)
What a beautiful book. I am loving the Mothers of Xsan series from Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson). Recommended.
Heidi Wood, Indigenous Learning – District Instruction and Curriculum Helping Teacher
Skillfully incorporating science and culture, these are beautiful books that adults and children will enjoy reading.
Teacher Magazine, BC Teachers' Federation
The story you told wove a integrated tapestry of knowledge, experience and a glimpse of the life of these magnificent birds where you come from. The book invites us to better understand a way of living in the world were spirit, place, wildness and civilization is revealed as an integrated and interdependent life force. A place where the value of a life is linked to the value of a place. The book is a generous gift, and an invitation into your home. Thank you for sharing it with us all.
Lancelot Coar, University of Manitoba