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K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Red River Resistance: A Girl Called Echo Vol. 2

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Author/Publisher/Website: Vermette, K.
Copyright: 2019
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Apr/2020
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9781553797470
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: 6-12
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

This graphic novel is the second book in the Red River Resistance series. Readers embark on a journey of time travel, where a young girl named Echo transports herself to the banks of the Red River in 1869, reliving the rebellion described in her classroom textbook. Navigating many complex social, legal, and political factors with the help of detailed timelines and artwork, this book invites readers to think critically about the treatment of the Métis people when they fought to defend their lands against the land speculators who planned to take over the territory. Suitable for students in Grade 6–12, this novel could facilitate a study of the graphic novel genre or may invite discussions of the many aspects of Canada’s history in relation to Indigenous people as well as the impacts of imperialism and colonialism on Aboriginal people’s identity.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Extensively
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Critical thinking
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Social Responsibility
Comments:
This graphic novel explores the Pemmican Wars through an Indigenous lens, providing opportunities for students to critically examine Social Studies 9 content and Big Ideas regarding land ownership, Canada's treatment of Indigenous peoples, political revolution, and the continuing effects of imperialism and colonialism on Indigenous peoples in Canada. It supports the Language Arts Big Idea that “exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and to the world.” This graphic novel supports the Positive Personal and Cultural Identity Core Competency as the protagonist continues on her personal journey of understanding and exploring her Métis roots.

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Indigenous Peoples:
The Métis are referred to as "half-breeds" by one of the land surveyors.
Violence:
The story contains one scene where execution is suggested. Guns are drawn, but death occurs off-page. There is also a scene of a battle where a man is hit in the head by a rock, there are fires that burn and others lay on the ground in blood.
Do the social considerations support, rather than detract from, student learning?
Extensively
Social Considerations Comments:
This graphic novel depicts the Red River Rebellion and has two scenes of violence. This violence is subtle and off-page. These scenes are necessary to show that the conflict escalated and that the rebellion proved deadly. The racial slur is offensive but serves to highlight the racism and division between the two groups.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Should this product be identified as Canadian?
Yes
Is the resource engaging?
Moderately
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Extensively
Is the resource an Authentic First Peoples Text?
Yes
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Moderately
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Moderately
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
The artwork is detailed and evocative, making it accessible to readers of many ages. The story is complex, events move quickly, and characters are described loosely. Scaffolding will be required to support most readers.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the location of illustrations appropriate?
Extensively
Is the resource easy to use?
Extensively
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Extensively
Are extraneous elements/illustrations kept to a minimum?
Extensively
Comments:
Illustrations effectively further the story. They capture the setting and the atmosphere and develop conflict by using colour and shading, panel size, and the effective use of foreground/background. Inset descriptions in a yellow text help to determine changes in the setting and descriptions of new characters, simulating the words of a textbook. The text includes a few French phrases, using an asterisk to indicate translations.

PRINT NOVEL

Does the text show insight into the complexity of the human condition?
Moderately
Does the text broaden students’ experiences and understanding?
Extensively
To what degree is this text stylistically rich?
Moderately
Plot description:
Picking up where Pemmican Wars left off, this graphic novel is both a political history and a personal exploration of a young woman's Métis roots. The story straddles the present and the past: Echo Desjardins sits in class listening to a lecture about the Red River Rebellion of 1869 then transports through time to relive the events from the school textbook. Echo witnesses the conflict between the land speculators who came to the land to make their fortunes and the Métis people, led by Louis Riel, who fought to preserve their land rights through nonviolent protest.
Related Comments:
The events of the Red River Resistance are presented through the eyes of Echo, her friend Benjamin, and the Métis People. The text navigates the complex social, legal, and political factors that characterized this conflict. Students are invited to think critically about the treatment of the Métis people and the actions of both sides. The artwork effectively captures the time period and the array of emotions and injustices experienced by the characters. Echo herself uncovers a deeper understanding of the struggles and the history of her people and gains a deeper understanding of her own identity.
Genre:
Adventure
Historical
Literary Highlights:
Complex conflict
Point of view
Type:
Graphic Novel
Visual Highlights:
Graphic Novel

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)
Comments:
The book contains a detailed timeline of the Red River Resistance. This day-by-day breakdown provides important context and background information which will help readers navigate the graphic novel.

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
Despite being Book Two in a series, this graphic novel could stand alone both as a study of the graphic novel genre or as a springboard for discussion of many aspects of Canadian history and their current impact. Although the visual elements of this book are rich and developed, it contains limited written text and a complex storyline. Students of all ages will require extensive support in understanding the historical context including events, key characters, and their relationships. For that reason, this text may be best suited for a large group study.
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