Reviewed by Will Nicholls The Courage to Change A Teen Survival Guide By the Leave Out Violence Youth Published by Second Story Press Courage to Change is a collection of personal stories by teens who have experienced violence from both sides: They have been both victims and victimizers. It is a book that talks about bullying, neglect, self-image, domestic violence and sexual abuse. Some of the stories explain how this leads to drug abuse and criminal behaviour.
In short, a book that deals with problems that a lot of First Nations people are having to come to grips with. The influence of residential schools, attempts at assimilation, lack of employment opportunities and mass media have shaped generations of Natives to become what they are today. The problems run through all of society as this book shows.
The book is one where teens reach out to other teens in raw and powerful ways. To be blunt, the stories aren’t bulsh*t. They are true and gritty, sad and funny and tell what life is really like for teens in their own words. Parents should be forced to read this to see what their kids could be like and kids should read the book to know they aren’t alone in the way they think.
It’s a book I recommend for schools, social services. Youth Protection and clinics. Wherever there is a chance that it will give someone a Courage to Change, youth and adults alike. Get a copy today by calling 416-557-7850 and good luck.
Fish, Law and Colonialism The Legal Capture of Salmon in British Columbia By Douglas C. Harris Published by University of Toronto Press Are you tired of hearing about the deal between Quebec and the Cree but still interested in First Nations rights? Then this is the book for you. I’m really impressed with the University of Toronto Press. They have come out with some interesting ways of imparting history and the law in this book. You can see clearly how the governments work. I’m not talking just the Federal Government or Indian Affairs here but the whole tamale. You get a look into the provincial government, the First Nations governments and the various lobby groups. It shows you how First Nations could lose control of a vital resource despite all their efforts. The book takes you on a travel tour from the 1800’s to the situation today. In 1872 the Minister of Public Works for British Columbia said, “ There is no law governing fishing in British Columbia. Fishing is carried on throughout the year without any restrictions. This state of things is well suited to a new and thinly populated country. The restrictions of a closed season would be very injurious to the Province at the present, and for many years to come.” By 1913 Comiakin Chief Kukaht said that they were no longer allowed to fish and sell their catch to the local food market. “At all times of the year we are in trouble and they do not let us fish at all. The constables are always watching us, no matter when we fish, or what we fish with.” Looking at the restrictions today you can see the situation has indeed changéd. Now you can see how and why it happened. The book holds out hope telling how the First Nations in B.C. are reasserting their rights and challenging the stated for control. All in all, it’s a truly fascinating and educational read.
Top 10 Fiction Bestsellers HEARTSONGS, written and illustrated by Mattie J. T. Stepanek. (VSP Books, $14.95.) A collection of poems by an 11-year-old boy.
1- THE DIARY OF ELLEN RIMBAUER, edited by Joyce Reardon. (Hyperion, $22.95.) The fictional journal of the wife of a Seattle industrialist; a companion volume to the mini-series “Stephen King’s Rose Red.” 2- UP COUNTRY, by Nelson DeMille. (Warner, $26.95.) A Vietnam veteran investigates the mysterious death of an Army lieutenant three decades earlier.
3- ONE DOOR AWAY FROM HEAVEN, by Dean Koontz. (Bantam, $26.95.) A woman tries to protect a 9-year-old girl from her stepfather, who is convinced that her destiny will involve U.F.O.’s and aliens.
4- JOURNEY THROUGH THE COURAGE TO CHANGE 5- UNDER FIRE, by W. E. B. Griffin. (Putnam, $26.95.) United States marines encounter new battlefields when the Korean War begins; the ninth volume of the series “The Corps.” 6- BASKET CASE, by Carl Hiaasen. (Knopf, $25.95.) An obituary writer in South Florida examines the strange circumstances surrounding the death of a rock star.
7- *THE CORRECTIONS, by Jonathan Franzen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) A multigenerational saga in which a mother tries to bring her dysfunctional family together for a final Christmas at home.
8- THE MILLIONAIRES, by Brad Meltzer. (Warner, $25.95.) Things go awry when two brothers who work at an exclusive bank try to pull off a foolproof crime.
9- TISHOMINGO BLUES, by Elmore Leonard. (Morrow, $25.95.) In Tunica, Miss., a high diver runs afoul of the Dixie Mafia and its Civil War re-enactors.
10- THE CAT WHO WENT UP THE CREEK, by Lilian Jackson Braun. (Putnam, $23.95.) While on vacation, Jim Qwilleran and his two cats investigate a murder.