The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir

 

reviewed by Kayla Nye

The Education of Augie Merasty is a brief memoir of attending the St. Therese residential school in Sturgeon Landing, Saskatchewan from 1935-1944, which is written by David Carpenter;  however the story was told by Joseph Augie Merasty. It reveals the many hardships Native and Métis children experienced during that time.

In this memoir, Augie exposed his traumas to the audience; he tells about the Hitler-worshipping Brother, the Sister who would strike children for farting, and the many sexual assaults he witnessed or experienced. He also explains how his life had turned out after being released.

In 75 pages this book has taught me very much about cultural genocide and just how important it is to know how these people were treated.

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Clarice Bean and Ghost Knight

At the Summer Reading Club this year we are reading two books. The younger group is listening to Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now. The story is off to a rousing start as older sister Marcie overflows the bath. First the ceiling begins to drip on Grandpa. Then it collapses – and crushes the television. Oh no! Luckily Clarice Bean has words of wisdom from her favourite literary character, girl spy Ruby Redfort, to guide her: When you lose an important piece of equipment, improvise or seek out an alternative. Even more luckily, her best friend Betty Moody has her own tv in her bedroom. Problem solved! Except the stove was crushed too, and the family is going to have to live on toast forever.

The older group is hearing Cornelia Funke’s Ghost Knight, in which Jon, jealous of his new stepfather, makes himself so sulky and unpleasant at home that his mother sends him away to his late father’s boarding school in a famous cathedral town just dripping with history. Jon is determined to be as miserable as possible, but when the ghosts of three malevolent knights began haunting him, he finds himself drawn into a dark tragedy that unfolded around the cathedral back in the middle ages.