Firefly: A Boarding School Story
Based on the author’s experiences, this picture book conveys what many Indigenous children endured at mission schools in the United States. It follows the traumatic experience of Firefly, a young Ojibwe girl who was taken from her grandmother—and her life, as she knew it—for ten years. In this powerful story, readers can understand the intense feelings and intolerable treatment of Indigenous children during this part of American history. In the Grade 3–9 classroom, teachers may wish to use this story to broach conversations about the experience of Indigenous people as they struggled to survive and maintain their identities and culture. The story may inspire written reflections connected to the emotionally charged events described in the book and prompt students to investigate current news on the subject matter and make real-world connections.