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Silver River Shadow

"Based on a true story, this is a poignant story to be shared by all ages."

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Available on Kindle and in Paperback from Amazon.

When Lizzie is tasked with the summer project of finding out about her family, she doesn't know what she would unearth. 12-year-old Lizzie lost her mother shortly after she was born, and with her father working late a lot, she sets out on her own to uncover her mother’s family history from the boxes in the attic. Along the way she makes friends with Bobby, and together they piece together the story of Ball Lake Lodge, Grassy Narrows and the Ojibway people. The horrific and scandalous story of damaging pollution and coverups is highlighted, as well as the impacts that still affect north-western Ontario and the Ojibway today.

Silver River Shadow by Jane Thomas was overseen and reviewed by the real people that inspired this story, Barney and Marion Lamm’s daughter and the Ojibway readers living in and connected to Grassy Narrows. This results in a thoughtfully written and impactful story that, while under the surface of a friend's adventure to discover her family history, shines a light on an environmental catastrophe and water contamination that has impacted generations of people that live in the area. 

The illustrations throughout were soft and lovely, but the one that really struck me was the naïve childlike drawing right at the beginning, attributed to our main character that mapped the Mercury pollution. The contrast of the simple drawings and the severity of the subject made it feel more poignant to me and effectively stayed in my mind as I followed Lizzie and Bobby on their journey. 

As I finished reading I struggled to figure out which age group this book would appeal to. The book is written in a way that readers from around the age of 11 could find entertaining while they learn, and succinct enough that even those slightly younger might enjoy it. However, I also think that older readers will find value in this book too. The bureaucracy that left Dryden mill operating and the local people to become ill even with with evidence of the risks, the capitalist greed from loggers encroaching on the Ojibway land and those angry when the lodge was closed, even when it was for everyone’s safety are all potential discussion topics amongst KS3 and KS4 classrooms as well as through-provoking for adult readers. 

Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador

LoveReading4Kids Ambassador

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