About the Author

Melanie Florence

MELANIE FLORENCE is a proud Cree and a full-time journalist and children's writer currently based in Toronto. She is the author of the Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools, the YA novel The Missing, the Lorimer SideStreets title One Night, and Recordbooks title Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuk to Play in the NHL, which was chosen as an Honor Book by The American Indian Library Association. As a freelance journalist, Melanie's byline has appeared in magazines including Dance International, Writer, Parents Canada, and Urban Male Magazine.

Books by this Author
Glass Gardens

Glass Gardens

Easy Terrariums, Aeriums, and Aquariums for Your Home or Office
edition:Hardcover
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Jordin Tootoo

Jordin Tootoo

The highs and lows in the journey of the first Inuk to play in the NHL
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback
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Excerpt

Preface It's cold in the arena. But for a guy who plays in a rink that's about minus twenty back home, this is nothing. The sound of blades cutting a path across the ice can be heard above the screams of the fans. The sound of the player's own breathing rasps in his ears. He leans to the left and turns easily. He sees the puck out of the corner of his eye. He glides over to it. In one smooth, fluid motion, he lifts his stick high into the air. He pauses for a split second before bringing it down. A satisfying crack sounds off the ice. The puck soars across the ice to a teammate, who moves it toward the net. He sees another player skating toward his teammate, intent on stealing the puck. Ice sprays as he skids to a stop, then takes off again. Gaining power as he gets closer and closer, he's at top speed by the time he reaches the other side of the rink. He passes players without looking. Without slowing, he hones in on his target. He angles his head down and clocks the other player with his shoulder. Hard. They both go down. The crowd goes wild. His reputation as a player is built on hits like this. Playing all out and hitting hard is how he played back home with his older brother. It's who he is. He sees no reason to change now. The fans are on their feet screaming and chanting, "Tootoo! Tootoo! Tootoo!" Before he can even notice the sound of his name echoing through the building, Jordin Tootoo is off down the ice, already focusing on the next hit, the next play, the next goal.

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Missing Nimama
Excerpt

Nôhkom is teaching me to make fry bread. I stand on a chair at the kitchen counter and measure flour into her green mixing bowl.
"Your mother loved to cook with me when she was your age," she says.
"Does my mother speak Cree?" I ask.
"She does," nôhkom says. "Just like you."
"Did you tell her trickster stories, like you tell me?"
"Of course, kamâmakos. She liked Wisahkecahk stories best."
"Just like me!" I say. "Did you teach her beadwork and shawl dance?"
"I did." Nôhkom smiles at me. "Your mother is a beautiful dancer, Kateri. Just like you."
"Can we look at your photo albums, nôhkom?" I ask. She smiles as she takes one off the shelf. I climb off my chair and onto her lap and turn the pages, looking at my mother. When she was little, she looked just like me.

Thank you, nimama. Thank you for taking care of my child after raising your own.
Thank you for cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and buying birthday gifts and drying tears.
Thank you for telling Kateri about me.
For sharing stories about her mother with her.
For reminding her how much very I love her.
For not letting her forget me.

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Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools

Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools

The Devastating Impact on Canada's Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Findings and Calls for Action
edition:Hardcover
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The Missing

The Missing

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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