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Children's Nonfiction Cultural Heritage

When the Spirits Dance

by (author) Larry Loyie

with Constance Brissenden

Publisher
Theytus Books
Initial publish date
May 2010
Category
Cultural Heritage, Native Canadian, General
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781894778404
    Publish Date
    Oct 2006
    List Price
    $19.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781926886022
    Publish Date
    May 2010
    List Price
    $16.95

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12

Description

When Lawrence's father goes overseas with the Canadian Army during the Second World War, the young Cree boy struggles to grow up while wrestling with the meaning of war. With Papa gone, Mama raises the children alone. Traditional foods such as wild meat and fish are scarce, and many other foods are rationed.
Angry about the changes and confused about the future, Lawrence misses his father and his teachings about their natural way of life. When army runaways threaten the family, Lawrence's courage and knowledge of traditional skills are called upon to keep them safe. With guidance from his grandfather and encouragement from his grandmother, Lawrence faces his challenges, becomes wiser and stronger, and earns the respect of his Elders.

About the authors

Larry Loyie was born in Slave Lake, Alberta. He lived a traditional Cree life until he was eight years old, learning from his elders, many of whom he has written about in his childrenâ??s books. He has a website abailable here: www.firstnationswriter.comThe â??Lawrence Seriesâ? books are based on Larry Loyieâ??s traditional Cree childhood. The Moon Speaks Cree (Theytus, 2013) is a winter adventure, a traditional time of family, learning and imagination, when toboggan dogs were part of everyday life.From the age of eight to 14, Larry Loyie attended St. Bernard Mission residential school in Grouard, Alberta. At 14, he entered the work force, fighting fires, working in an oil camp and a mountain sawmill.He writes about his years in residential school and moving on in Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus, 2008). This engaging chapter book is the sequel to As Long as the Rivers Flow (Groundwood), winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Childrenâ??s Non-Fiction. Goodbye Buffalo Bay is a popular choice for novel and classroom study.Larry Loyie is an invaluable resource on the history of residential schools in Canada. He is a survivor who has spent many years researching and writing about this hidden chapter in Canadian history.When the Spirits Dance, A Cree Boy's Search for the Meaning of War(Theytus, 2010), set during the Second World War, is based on the authorâ??s traditional Cree childhood when his father left the family to serve with the Canadian Army. It is a family story of universal interest in the discussion of the effects of war.The Gathering Tree (Theytus, 2005) is a bestselling work of fiction informed by Larry Loyieâ??s first-hand knowledge of Aboriginal culture and approaches. Winner of the 2012 Silver Medal (Health Issues) from Moon beam Children's Book Awards, The Gathering Tree encourages HIV awareness and prevention. Impressive, authentic illustrations by Heather D. Holmlund enhance the story. Included are 15 questions and answers in reader-friendly language prepared by Chee Mamuk, the Aboriginal education arm of the BC Centre for Disease Control.Larry Loyieâ??s books have been honoured by the First Nation Communities Read program and other awards and award-nominations. They are Highly Recommended by CM Magazine, Books in Print and other publications. His books are found on curriculums and recommended reading lists across Canada. Study material for each book is included on his website: http://firstnationswriter.comLarry Loyie went back to school at the age of 55 to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a writer. He is an active proponent of literacy and learning. With his partner, writer and editor Constance Brissenden, he launched Living Traditions Writers Group in 1993 to encourage Aboriginal writing. Together Larry and Constance have given more than 1,400 workshops, talks and presentations in schools, libraries, at writerâ??s festivals and conferences. Larry Loyie is also available for Skype school visits.

Larry Loyie's profile page

Constance Brissenden, BA (UofGuelph), MA (UofAlberta, Theatre) has written with Cree author Larry Loyie since 1993. A non-fiction writer and editor of more than 14 books of history and travel, she was a writing instructor in Simon Fraser University's Writing & Publishing program for 18 years. Constance Brissenden met Larry Loyie in a creative writing class at the Carnegie Community Centre in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. She directed Larry Loyie's first play, Ora Pro Nobis, Pray for Us, performed in Vancouver as well as five federal prisons in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. In 1993, Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden launched Living Traditions Writers Group to encourage writing in Aboriginal and other communities. A lifelong freelancer, Constance Brissenden continues to write, edit and teach writing and theatre. Together with Larry Loyie, she gives presentations on his books and co-teaches writing workshops

 

Constance Brissenden's profile page

Librarian Reviews

When the Spirits Dance

This is the second book in the “Lawrence” series, based on the author’s life. It is set in Northern Alberta in the early 1940s when his father is conscripted to fight in World War II. The book tells how Lawrence and his extended family obtain most of their food from their surroundings. Lawrence is allowed to camp alone when they are out tapping birch for syrup. Aboriginal peoples honour the birch for its gift. The epilogue gives details of life in Rabbit Lake, near Slave Lake. The book also references the 6 300 Canadian army deserters, American soldiers who passed though on their way to build the Alaska Highway and that Aboriginal veterans were denied rights and benefits until recently.

First Nations author Larry Loyie won the Norma Fleck Award for Non-fiction for As Long as the Rivers Flow, for which When the Spirits Dance is the prequel.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.

When the Spirits Dance

This is the second book in the “Lawrence” series, based on the author’s life. It is set in Northern Alberta in the early 1940s when his father is conscripted to fight in World War II, having already served in World War I. The book tells the story of Lawrence and his extended family and their activities including obtaining most of their food from their surroundings. Lawrence helps his family while his father is away and is allowed to camp alone when they are out getting birch sap for syrup. The epilogue gives details of life in Rabbit Lake, near Slave Lake.

Aboriginal author Larry Loyie won the Norma Fleck Award for Non-fiction for As Long as the Rivers Flow, for which When the Spirits Dance is the prequel.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2007-2008.

When the Spirits Dance

As a child, Larry Loyie struggled to grow up and wrestled with the meaning of war when his father headed overseas during World War II. His mother had to raise the family alone. When army runaways threatened the family, Larry's courage and knowledge of tradition kept them safe. A true story. Colour and black and white photos and glossary of Cree words included.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Larry Loyie

Other titles by Constance Brissenden