Pakak is in a new foster home, with new people, new food, and new smells. Feeling alone and uncertain, Pakak finds comfort in a secret shared with him by his anaanattiaq, his grandmother, and in the knowledge that he is loved no matter how far away his family may be. Written as a gift for Inuit children in care by foster parents Kevin and Mary Qamaniq-Mason, this book is lovingly imbued with cultural familiarities that will resonate with children who, like Pakak, are navigating the unknown.
The Barren Grounds
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Aski, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.
Mercy lives in modern-day Pietermaritzburg, South Africa with her eccentric foster aunts―two elderly sisters so poor, they can only afford one lightbulb. A nasty housing developer is eying their house. And that same house suddenly starts falling apart―just as Aunt Flora starts falling apart. She’s forgetting words, names, and even how to behave in public. Mercy tries to keep her head down at school so nobody notices her. But when a classmate frames her for stealing the school’s raffle money, Mercy’s teachers decide to take a closer look at her home life.
Small Mercies has been discussed in My Take/Your Take for December 2020.
The Road To Ever After
Moira Young’s The Road to Ever After is a magical and moving adventure about an unlikely friendship and an unforgettable journey.
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, this dark and gripping novel tells the tragic story of a smart, sweet child poisoned by circumstance as he struggles to escape the horrors of his childhood.
Parallel plotlines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.
Little Bits Of Sky
Siblings Ira and Zac know the foster system inside and out, but it’s only when they are sent to Skilly House, a children’s care home in London, that their lives truly start to change.
Thirteen-year-old Tom, an unhappy foster child in Liverpool, falls into a massive open grave and is transported to Ireland in 1847, where he finds himself in the midst of the deadly potato famine.
When his mother is sent to jail in Los Angeles, eleven-year-old Tony goes to live with his forest ranger great-uncle in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where Tony experiences unconditional love for the first time through his friendship with a rescue dog.
This novel for ages nine and up is the story of a resilient young girl who struggles as the daughter of an alcoholic father and an absentee mother. Left alone to fend for herself for days at a time, she is observed by a kind and compassionate saleswoman at the mall she retreats to every day after school to avoid going “home.” The saleswoman gains her trust and takes action into her own hands by reporting the girl’s situation to social services. She is placed in foster care, where she dreams of being reunited with her dad, despite the deprivations in her life with him. The relationship between the girl and her foster mother is painful, and the girl’s spirit disintegrates. Eventually, the saleswoman “adopts” the girl into her caring family, whose love and support enable her, finally, to believe in herself.