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Swift Fox All Along

By Rebecca Thomas
Illustrated by Maya McKibbin
Interest Age: 4–7
Grade: p–2
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RL.2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Reading Level: Lexile AD510L
Hardcover (Picture book) : 9781773214481, 36 pages, September 2020 , 10.25" x 9.0"
Paperback (Picture book) : 9781773214474, 36 pages, April 2022 , 10.25" x 9.0"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773214498, 36 pages, September 2020 Audiobook : 9781773214528, March 2021


What does it mean to be Mi’kmaq? And if Swift Fox can’t find the answer, will she ever feel like part of her family?

When Swift Fox’s father picks her up to go visit her aunties, uncles, and cousins, her belly is already full of butterflies. And when he tells her that today is the day that she’ll learn how to be Mi’kmaq, the butterflies grow even bigger. Though her father reassures her that Mi’kmaq is who she is from her eyes to her toes, Swift Fox doesn’t understand what that means. Her family welcomes her with smiles and hugs, but when it’s time to smudge and everyone else knows how, Swift Fox feels even more like she doesn’t belong.

Then she meets her cousin Sully and realizes that she’s not the only one who’s unsure—and she may even be the one to teach him something about what being Mi’kmaq means. Based on the author’s own experience, with striking illustrations by Maya McKibbin, Swift Fox All Along is a poignant story about identity and belonging that is at once personal and universally resonant.


“A touching and universal narrative . . . This title should definitely be added to any list of recommended children’s books focused on indigenous life, family, tradition, feelings, anxiety, fear and self-regulation. Swift Fox All Along is also brimming with cross curricular applications for school use, including incorporation with science, social studies, history, language, and mental health. Highly Recommended.”

- CM Reviews, *starred review, 06/19/20

“A great opportunity for a discussion of culture—what it means and how we become part of one.” 

- Library Matters, 06/24/20

“Highlights the importance of connections to culture and self.” 

- Kirkus Reviews, 07/28/20

“This is a straightforward tale of a girl finding her way into a culture that is her heritage, yet new to her. As such, it works effectively. This may suit libraries in need of more modern ­Native picture books with child appeal.” 

- School Library Journal, 08/20

“The story authentically depicts how a child might feel being introduced to a culture that they haven’t had the opportunity to participate in regularly.”

- The Horn Book, 11/20

“Celebrates learning more about who you are and being proud of your identity. Highly recommended for home, school and public libraries.” 

- Canadian Children’s Book News, *starred review, Fall/20

“A powerful book about identity and family.” 

- Waking Brain Cells, 10/12/20

“Both the message of living in a home with separation and pride in culture are important for children to see in stories today.” 

- Youth Services Book Review, 10/29/20

“Earnest and heartfelt . . . A touching story of family and identity, all children will empathize with feeling out of place and wanting to belong.”

- Atlantic Books Today, Fall/20

“Spotting the animals on every page, especially Swift Fox’s butterflies, adds another layer to the reader’s experience . . . Many children will find a welcome reflection of real feelings in Swift Fox’s worries.”

- Publishers Weekly, 10/26/20

“Personal and poignant.”

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 11/18/20