Books like When We Were Alone by David A Robertson is an open invitation to curiosity, questions, and family history. This book belongs in every classroom, in every read aloud because family history is part of family's present story. Identity is a topic I wish we explore more in today's classroom. We teach children, youth, adults but to teach them is to understand them.
In this story, a young girl helps her grandmother with her garden. As both of them work together side by side, the little girl starts noticing things about grandma that she hasn't noticed before...
"Why do you wear so many colours?"
One answer, one story, brings more questions...
"Why did you have to dress like that?"
"Why do you wear your hair so long?"
Every answer, every story, brings more depth in grandma's story...
"Why do you speak Cree?"
"Why did you have to talk in their language?"
This book is written in a beautiful tone. As this child hears each story, it brings her closer to grandma. And that is what stories do. They bring people together.