When she was eight, Olemaun wanted to read the outsiders’ books so badly, she was willing to leave her Inuit father and way of life to go to the outsiders’ school. Once there, she was forced to conform and endure hardship at the hands of one of the nuns. Only her will to read kept her going forward, despite being given chores instead of schooling. It is sad to read how this happened–not many children’s biographies are this starkly honest.
There is a strong, hopeful ending, however. “I felt a great happiness inside that I dared not show. I quietly took my seat. I was Olemaun, conqueror of evil, reader of books. I was a girl who traveled to a strange and faraway land to stand against a tyrant, like Alice. And like Alice, I was brave, clever, and as unyielding as the strong stone that sharpens an ulu.”