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Fatty Legs (10th anniversary edition)

Interest Age: 9–11
Grade: 4–7
Reading Level: Lexile 850L
Hardcover : 9781773213514, 156 pages, March 2020 , 9.0" x 6.5"
Paperback : 9781773213507, 156 pages, March 2020 , 9.0" x 6.5"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773213521, 156 pages, April 2020 Audiobook : 9781773213538, March 2021


The beloved story of an Inuvialuit girl standing up to the injustices of residential school.

Margaret Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton’s powerful story of residential school in the far North has been reissued to commemorate the memoir’s 10th anniversary with updates to the text, reflections on the book’s impact, and a bonus chapter from the acclaimed follow-up, A Stranger at Home. New content includes a foreword from Dr. Debbie Reese, noted Indigenous scholar and founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature, while Christy Jordan-Fenton, mother of Margaret’s grandchildren and a key player in helping Margaret share her stories, discusses the impact of the book in a new preface.

With important updates since it first hit the shelves a decade ago, this audiobook edition of Fatty Legs will continue to resonate with readers young and old.

New and updated content includes

  • a note on the right to silence. This piece asks readers to be mindful that not all survivors of residential school will wish to talk about their experiences, and that their silence should be respected.
  • audiobook features original song "Say Your Name" by acclaimed artist Keith Secola, a song inspired by Olemaun's story. See the video at
  • a table of contents to ensure all the added materials are easy to find.
  • a foreword by noted Indigenous scholar Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo), founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature. The foreword discusses the biased portrayal of Indigenous people in children’s literature throughout history and the exclusion of Indigenous people from the ability to tell their own stories.
  • a preface by Christy Jordan-Fenton sharing the way she first heard Margaret-Olemaun’s story of going away to residential school. It also covers the impact of the book and how much has changed in the past ten years.
  • a note on language. This piece reviews the universal changes in language that have been made to the book since the original edition and also establishes the language choices made in the new material.
  • a note on the writing process. This piece by Christy explores how she works with Margaret-Olemaun to get Olemaun’s stories down on paper.
  • a revised and updated afterword by Christy Jordan-Fenton.


  • Short-listed, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize 2011
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre 2020
  • Joint winner, Ten Best Children’s Books of the Year, The Globe and Mail 2010
  • Joint winner, First Nation Communities Read Selection 2011
  • Joint winner, USBBY International Books Honor List 2011
  • Commended, PubWest Book Design Awards, Bronze Award 2011
  • Runner-up, Nautilus Silver Award Winner 2011
  • Joint winner, Skipping Stones Honor Award 2011
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award 2011
  • Short-listed, Golden Oak Award 2011
  • Commended, Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Honour Book 2011


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

- The Horn Book

“A moving and believable account.”—Kirkus Reviews,*starred review, 11/10

- Kirkus Reviews

“An excellent addition to any biography collection, the book is fascinating and unique, and yet universal in its message.”—School Library Journal, 12/10

- School Library Journal

“Presents a unique and enlightening glimpse into the residential school
experience and, most importantly, one little girl’s triumph over her
oppressors.”—Quill & Quire, 11/10

- Quill & Quire

“A story of ingenuity, healing and resilience.”—, 12/22/14


“Margaret’s character is engaging—her persistence, her strength, and her curiosity touch the reader.”—CM Reviews, 11/10

- CM Reviews