The first thing I noticed upon starting When We Were Alone were the gorgeous illustrations that were detailed in all the right places. It was eye-bending in its beauty.
This picture book begins with a young girl helping out in her grandmother’s garden, when she begins to notice things that make her curious.
Why does her grandmother have long braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family?
As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away.
“They wanted us to look like everyone else.”
Along with the granddaughter, we get to be taken into the past and present of her grandmother’s life and see the freedom she yearned to reach… and eventually received.
“Here little bird, eat, so you will get big and strong.”
And since I’ve been sharing a few of the outstanding illustrations, I reckoned why not share a few more:
I’ve been looking around the page at every detail for hours!!
When We Were Alone was an exceptional story about a difficult time in history and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength. And I’ve reread it a couple of times now for exactly those reasons.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.