Thursday, August 25, 2016

Reader's Diary #1362- David Alexander Robertson (writer), Scott B. Henderson: The Ballad of Nancy April Shawnadithit

I really admire David Alexander Robertson's drive to remember the lives of particular indigenous Canadians through graphic novels and I was very happy to see that he'd taken on Shawnadithit. Anyone growing up in Newfoundland certainly knows who she was, but I'm unsure how many outside of the province do.

Still, honorable as his projects are, I've always been a little luke warm toward the execution. He tends to place the historical stories with fictional, and usually unnecessary,  frames. In this story, a girl whose necklace is broken causing her to be late for a fishing trip, falls asleep and dreams of Shawnadithit.

But again, it does the job of reminding people of who Shawnadithit and her Beothuk people. Though we learned a lot about Shawnadithit in elementary school, I don't recall hearing about how many Beothuks were taken as slaves. It was a very important reminder about the injustices they faced. Their legacy must never be forgotten and I thank Robertson for keeping it alive.

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

That particular framework doesn't seem like one which would draw me into the story either, but I can imagine it being appealing to younger readers, and I would guess (hope?) his books are used in classrooms and libraries often.