Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Books for First Nations Men Who Are Non-Readers

I compiled this list of suggestions for my sister who is teaching GED English to a group of First Nations men in Whitehorse. Their competency level at the start of the program varied from Grade 2 to Grade 9.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie

Skeleton Man - Joseph Bruchac
- very short, suspenseful, based on Abenaki legend

The Lesser Blessed - Richard Van Camp
- short, realistic, gritty, tragic and funny, Tlicho First Nation, set in NWT

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling
- has name recognition as well as being a captivating story

The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
- Grade 4 or 5 reading level but adult interest
- adventure and survival story

Drive - James Sallis
- 158 pages, short sentences, gritty suspense, crime, stunt driving

The Rez Sisters - Tomson Highway
Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing - Tomson Highway
- plays; dialogue is appealing for beginning readers
- First Nation northern settings

Life in Prison - Stanley Tookie Williams
- sentenced to life in prison, murderer became antigang activist
- 80 pages; many photos

To read parts aloud:

The X-Indian Chronicles - Thomas Yeapau
- Kiowa; four young male American Indians caught between two cultures
- raunchy and funny; interlinked short stories; blend of realism and mythology
- read the story about the powow fancydance competition (against Elvis!)

Me Funny - Drew Hayden Taylor
- "blue-eyed Ojibway" (part-Native) author
- essays on humour in Aboriginal culture
- other works by Taylor are also recommended

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science - John Fleischman

The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel - Gregory Scofield
- Metis; other poetry by Scofield is good too
- also his biography Thunder Through My Veins

Dreadfulwater Shows Up - Hartley Goodweather (alias Thomas King)
- funny murder mystery set on reservation in midwestern U.S.

Fool's Crow - James Welch

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row - Susan Kuklin

Other books and reading materials to have for silent reading time:

Guiness Book of Records
Bat Boy Lives - David Perel (The best of the World Weekly News)
Robert Service poems
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Shaman's Nephew: A Life in the Far North - Simon Tookoome
Porcupines and China Dolls - Robert Alexie (Teetl'it Gwich'in from NWT)
Three Day Road - Joseph Boyden
Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom
Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond - Joseph Medicine Crow
Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916 - Mike Capuzzo (be sure to get the simplified edition that has more illustrations; i.e. ISBN 0375822313)
Some non-fiction about animals, especially dogs; maybe a dog owner's vet handbook

Agatha Christie
Raymond Chandler
Stephen King
Thomas King
Dean Koontz
Robert Ludlum

COMICS: Archie, X-Men etc.

National Geographic
Canadian Geographic
ESPN sports (better than Sports Illustrated)
Car & Driver
Popular Science
some hunting & fishing magazines

1 comment:

Front Deck Text said...

Thanks for this listing Lindy -- I appreciate it.