As Long as the Rivers Flow

As Long as the Rivers Flow

eBook - 2011
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As Long as the River Flow is filled with characters one cares deeply about. In spite of its sober theme, it is a story of hope, healing and embracing life."--BOOK JACKET.
When she later gives birth to Raven, a daughter, Martha's mother insists on keeping her in Cat Lake when Martha decides to move to Toronto to find Spider. When Raven turns thirteen, she feels hopeless, rejected by her mother and not sure what, if anything, life has in store for her. She enters a suicide pact with three other teens and is eventually the only one of the group still alive.
Ten long years later, it is an emotionally devastated sixteen-year-old who finds her way home again, barely able to speak the only language her mother knows. Martha hangs out with other young people, and gives birth to a little boy, whom she calls Spider because of a web-shaped birthmark on his forehead. She loves him but has little knowledge or experience of good parenting. She seeks comfort and forgetfulness in alcohol, and Children's Aid authorities in Toronto, a place she has only heard of, take Spider away from her.
"The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to a residential school on James Bay. She doesn't speak English but is punished for speaking her native language; most terrifying and bewildering, she is also "fed" to the school's attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.
Publisher: Toronto : A.A. Knopf Canada, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307398765
0307398765
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiii, 250 p.) :,1 map

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LifefilledNights May 30, 2012

a really good book. at first i wasn't too excited to read it, but when i started, i couldn't put it down. Recommended.

a
anivison
Aug 19, 2011

For anyone who likes to learn history through fiction, this is a fantastic place to start to learn about the Canadian residential school catastrophe, and how it shapes the following generations.

I found it to be a good jumping off point to learn more, and from the first page, a smooth read that covers difficult topics.

You can listen to the author's talk with Sheilagh Rogers on The Next Chapter podcast from last season. This is how I picked it up.

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llocas
Jul 17, 2011

This is an excellent book. It should be added to the high school curriculum.

debwalker Feb 24, 2011

Heard James Bartleman reading from As Long as the Rivers Flow at Harbourfront last night. Very moving on the tragedy of teen suicide in Ontario's First Nations communities.

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LifefilledNights May 30, 2012

LifefilledNights thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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