What a busy year 2012 was! Fulfilling, fast-paced, sometimes frustrating … some highlights of 2012 and a look at 2013 for Cree children’s book author Larry Loyie and partner, writer and editor Constance Brissenden.
Highlights of 2012:
Tant que couleront les rivieres (As Long as the Rivers Flow), published in French by Editions des Plaines (St-Boniface, Manitoba) www.plaines.ca. Larry’s first book to appear in a language other than English. It’s a wonderful
French cover of As Long As The River Flows
translation, confirmed teachers at Penticton’s Ecole Entre-lacs when we visited their school in October. The children were enthralled with Larry Loyie’s Kokom Bella (Grandma Bella) and her encounter with the biggest grizzly bear in North America and learned more about residential schools.
The Gathering Tree (Theytus) was awarded a 2012 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Silver Medal (Health Issues). This best-selling children’s book introduces HIV awareness and prevention with a First Nations storyline in a way that is accessible to elementary school students. Includes 15 teacher-friendly questions and answers from health educator Melanie Rivers of Chee Mamuk Aboriginal health program (BC Centre for Disease Control). Heather D. Holmlund’s illustrations truly complement Larry Loyie’s storyline with evocative and accurate images.
45 talks in schools and libraries including a week-long tour of the Fort McMurray area with Young Alberta Book Society.
Two noted First Nations playwrights write with honesty and humour about the courage of residential school survivors and the hard and lonely times they went through. Survivor Larry Loyie’s Ora Pro Nobis, Pray for Us is a dramatic, lively and often funny portrayal of a group of boys and how their friendship helps them survive. In Vera Manuel’s Strength of Indian Women, based on family experiences, four elders prepare for a teenage girl’s coming-of-age feast. As they work together, the women reveal the secrets of the residential school years. These noteworthy full-length plays are suitable for grade 9 and up, and have been staged many times. Available from Anita Large Ebook Publishing Services, www.anitalarge.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, $9.99 CDN/USD.
Two Plays About Residential School (includes Vera Manuel’s Strength of Indian Women and Larry Loyie’s Ora Pro Nobis, Pray for Us, two insightful plays about residential school experiences) is now available as an e-book from Anita Large Ebooks.
Goodbye Buffalo Bay
Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus) — 4th reprint
When The Spirits Dance
When the Spirits Dance (Theytus) — 3rd reprint
As Long as the Rivers Flow
As Long as the Rivers Flow (Groundwood) — 7th reprint
The Gathering Tree (Theytus) — 4th reprint
The Moon Speaks Cree, A Winter Adventure (Theytus) — with illustrations by Bill Cohen (Okanagan), will be out this spring after several delays. Includes an Epilogue and Study Points about traditional learning in Aboriginal cultures.
Ongoing: 3 new books … Tomma, Voyageur (research supported by a grant from the Canada Council) the fictionalized story of Larry Loyie’s great-great-grandfather, an Ojibway paddler with the Hudson’s Bay Company Governor George Simpson. Second new book in progress: Darkness Walks, a fiction chapter book about childhood superstitions from an Aboriginal point of view. Third Book: Remember the Children, A Survivor’s Guide to Residential Schools. A national history of residential schools for elementary school students, a 10-year work in progress by Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden. Our aim is for this history to be out by Fall 2013.