Review: Stolen Words by Melanie Florence

I didn’t think I would be fully reviewing this picture book because of the short length of it (only thirteen pages), but I’ve found myself thinking about it quite a lot after putting it down. When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson and Jenny Kay Dupuis’s I Am Not a Number are two reads that aquatinted me on the hard-hitting subject of this book: the intergenerational impact of Canada’s residential school system, which separated young Indigenous children from their families.

I went into this not expecting much, but Stolen Words completely blew me away. The illustrations by Gabrielle Grimard in particular because of how hauntingly beautiful they were:Stolen Words 1-- bookspoils

Stolen Words 2-- bookspoils

Stolen Words 3-- bookspoilsI found myself fighting tears with the above.

Stolen Words 4-- bookspoils

Stolen Words 5-- bookspoils

Before reading I’d been worried about whether Stolen Words was an #ownvoices story, but thankfully with a little research on the author’s website I found that Florence is a writer of Cree and Scottish heritage based in Toronto. She was close to her grandfather as a child, a relationship that sparked her interest in writing about Aboriginal themes and characters.

Needless to mention, this is a vitally important picture book from a much-needed voice.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: September 5th, 2017

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Stolen Words, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

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