Fatty Legs: A True Story by Christy Jordan-FentonFatty Legs: A True Story by Christy Jordan-Fenton

Fatty Legs: A True Story

byChristy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-FentonIllustratorLiz Amini-Holmes

Paperback | September 1, 2010

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 65 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls — all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school. In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity. Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s collection and striking artworks from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl’s determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.
Christy Jordan-Fenton lives in Fort St. John, British Columbia. Margaret Pokiak-Fenton is her mother-in-law. Margaret Pokiak-Fenton spent her early years on Banks Island in the Arctic Ocean. She now lives in Fort St. John, British Columbia.
Title:Fatty Legs: A True StoryFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:112 pages, 9.04 × 6.26 × 0.27 inShipping dimensions:9.04 × 6.26 × 0.27 inPublished:September 1, 2010Publisher:Annick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554512468

ISBN - 13:9781554512461

Appropriate for ages: 9


Rated 4 out of 5 by from a great book i love the story and its messages, however it was a bit slow
Date published: 2018-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect for introducing students to issue of residential schools This book was perfect for introducing my students to the issue of residential schools. Though it was not a challenging read for my Grade 7s, we had lots of rich discussions, and it provided a great jumping-off point. Built curiosity and empathy and allowed us to explore the issue further. Excited to see it on stage this fall!
Date published: 2018-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written This book will hold you captive. It is a triumph in portraying a painful time through a young girl's journey to finding her own strength and the inner strength she really has within.
Date published: 2018-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great book I read this book with my kids and let them to learn more the Inuit people
Date published: 2018-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect for Classroom I love using this book in my classroom. It gives a real life perspective, but in a way that is age appropriate.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read This book is an amazing illustration of a dark part of our history. A must read for anyone who wants a truthful picture of residential schools and a woman courageous enough to share it.
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Achingly Beautiful This is a story about love and the power of words. A young Inuit girl endures the humiliation and cruelty of her residential school because she so desperately wants to learn how to read. It is difficult to comprehend the cruel treatment Olemaun receives from the hand of a nun she refers to only as 'theRaven.' Some of this cruelty is softened by the empathy shown by the nun in charge - Sr. MacQillan. Why this kindly nun (who Olemaun names 'the Swan') didn't put an end to the Raven's cruelty is troubling? Olemaun learned to read and escaped back to her family, eventually marrying and raising her eight children. She uses her hard earned education to shed light on this troubling time in Canada's history. Her story, told through the eyes of her eight year old self, is enhanced by the beautiful illustrations of Liz Amini-Holmes. It is a story about courage, resilience, determination and love. Though non-judgemental in the telling, Olemaun's true story forces us to confront her experience in a residential school. It is a story that will definitely change our understanding of this dark chapter in our history. Don't write this off as a children's story. After all, all great children's classics really convey universal truths.
Date published: 2018-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An important read With its simple narrative style and many illustrations (including a number of photographs), this is perfectly suited to early chapter book readers. This would make a perfect introduction to the issues surrounding residential schools and cultural genocide.
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from important read i read this when i was in 8th grade for a social justice option class. i found it very eye opening to some of Canada's darker side of history and gave me an insight of what these children must have gone though.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read A tragic story. Imagery and writing give us a glimpse of a darker world through the residential school experience. An important read.
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very moving This is a perfect introduction to the darker side of Canada's history for middle grade kids.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from well written crazy to think this is real
Date published: 2017-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the time to read... For me, this hit close to home. Knowing things that have not been shared by my family to save us the "pain of knowing" but definitely has made me more aware of what has shaped so many friends and family members.
Date published: 2017-10-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such important book. I read this book for school and pleasure.I love the graphics and felt the book really gave me insight of the tragic events. I think it is incredble and brutal honest. I think the younger readers can find the understanding and truth behind residential schools since the schools theses days do not teach enough about this topic that everyone needs to know and experience about. This may be a mundane book, yet it gives door open to start a conversation.
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK Read it for a class, thought it was pretty mundane. The illustrations are nice though.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It's ok Thought I would enjoy this book more than I did. Has some good information and a really young reader may like it but I found the message was too simply conveyed.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well done I bought this book to read with my grade 5's as we discuss Canadian history and the harm caused by residential schools. This book was easy for students to understand and pairs well with When I was Eight or As Long as the Rivers Flow.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very powerful This is an excellent novel to teach children about residential schools. The novel discusses shocking events, but in a way that it is easy for children to understand.
Date published: 2017-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Very informative and a true story!
Date published: 2016-11-14

Editorial Reviews

“A strong, clear voice.”—The Horn Book, 10/09/17

- The Horn Book