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Six-year-old Martha’s life irrevocably changes when she is taken from her Cat Lake First Nation community in northern Ontario and sent to a residential school. Forced to discard her language and culture, as well as physically and sexually abused, Martha and many other children like her later return to their communities “sick in their collective souls.” Bartleman’s somber yet hopeful novel, which at times reads like nonfiction, is a searing indictment of the failed attempt by the Canadian government and the church to assimilate First Nations peoples into white culture. (Knopf)

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