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kimotinâniwiw itwêwina / Stolen Words

by Melanie Florence
illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
translated by Dolores Sand & Gayle Weenie

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list price: $14.95
published: 2019
publisher: Second Story Press
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
6 to 9
1 to 3
Reading age:
6 to 9
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  • Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award - CCBC's TD Canadian Children's Book Awards
  • Winner, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award
  • Commended, 2018 (Spring) - Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens - Starred Selection
  • Commended, Ontario Library Association's 2018 Best Bets
  • Commended, Shelf Awareness Best Picture Books of the Year
  • Commended, Kirkus Reviews' Best Picture Books of 2017 to Give Readers Strength
  • Short-listed, Elizabeth Mrazik Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
  • Commended, The Children's Book Review's Best Picture Books of 2017
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The dual language edition, in Plains Cree and English, of Stolen Words, the award-winning story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in Cree, he tells her that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

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Editorial Review

"Stolen Words / kimotinaniwiw itwewina" recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, and reveals how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared -- making it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections for children."

— Children's Bookwatch: The Bilingual Shelf
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About the Authors

Melanie Florence

MELANIE FLORENCE is a proud Cree and a full-time 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.
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Gabrielle Grimard

GABRIELLE GRIMARD a illustré plus de 30 albums, dontLes mots volés, Quand j’avais huit ans, Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines, Aujourd'hui peut-être... et les livres de la série Petit Gnouf. Elle est aussi l'auteure-illustratrice de l'album Lila et la corneille. Gabrielle habite aux environs de Montréal.

GABRIELLE GRIMARD has illustrated over 30 picture books, includingQuand j'avais huit ans and Les mots volés. Lila et la corneille is the first book she both wrote and illustrated. She lives near Montreal.

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Dolores Sand

Dolores Sand is a Plains Cree language speaker from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan.
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Gayle Weenie

Gayle Weenie is a Plains Cree language speaker from Sweetgrass First Nation, Saskatchewan.
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