Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 13
- Grade: 5 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 13
Cass and her mom have always stood on their own against the world. Then Cass learns she had a grandmother, one who was never part of her life, one who has just died and left her and her mother the first house they could call their own. But with it comes more questions than answers: Why is her Mom so determined not to live there? Why was this relative kept so secret? And what is the unusual mask, forgotten in a drawer, trying to tell her? Strange dreams, strange voices, and strange incidents all lead Cass closer to solving the mystery and making connections she never dreamed she had.
About the author
Susan Currie is a winner of Second Story Press’ Aboriginal Writing Contest, resulting in this, her second book. Her first book was Basket of Beethoven, a finalist for the CLA Book of the Year for Children, MYRCA, and Silver Birch Awards. She has an MA in children’s literature and has been an elementary teacher for 17 years. Susan is an adopted person who later learned about her Cayuga heritage, an experience that inspired The Mask That Sang. She lives in Brampton, Ontario.
- Short-listed, Hackmatack 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
- Commended, Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature
The Mask That Sang reminds us all about the importance of following our path and honouring our culture by knowing where we came from and being proud of who we are.
Currie manages to bring together an enlightening and interesting read, while also refraining from sanitizing the heart of the issues she addresses. Her works are blunt, honest, and refreshingly warm, and are an important addition to the growing number of literary works by authors of First Nations descent.
Currie offers a light, bittersweet story, filtered through the innocence of children, that comes full circle. She does this with an ease that is endearing and educational.... Drawing on her own experience discovering her Cayuga identity, Currie offers a tender, resonant tale.
The Mask That Sang forces readers to confront the ongoing impact of the mistreatment of Canada’s aboriginal peoples, yet at the same time it offers a hopeful and positive perspective, focused on healing and the importance of embracing one’s community and culture.
Quill & Quire
Currie has crafted a haunting and sometimes bittersweet novel that touches upon the lost generation of First Nation children.
Canadian Children's Book News
The Mask That SangThe Mask That Sang is the winner of Second Story Press’ Aboriginal Writing Contest. In the novel, the discovery of an Iroquois mask sets young Cass on a journey to self-discovery, as she uncovers secrets about her ancestry and her Indigenous heritage. The novel will provide middle school readers with insight into mother-daughter relationships, the impact of poverty on families and relationships, and the resonating impact of the past.
Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Diversity Collection Selection 2017.