Stolen Words

Stolen Words


Written by Melanie Florence and Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard


A little girl helps her grandfather regain the language taken from him as a child.

The story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language – Cree – he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.


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About the Author

Melanie Florence is an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage. Her book Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuk to Play in the NHL was chosen as an Honor Book by The American Indian Library Association. Her first picture book, Missing Nimama, won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. She is also the author of Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Residential Schools and several YA novels, including The Missing. Melanie lives with her husband and two children in Toronto.

Melanie wrote Stolen Words in honor of her grandfather, whom she was close to as a child. Melanie never had the chance to speak to him about his Cree heritage, and this story is about the healing relationship she wishes she had been able to have with him.

About the Illustrator

Gabrielle Grimard uses various media to research and create the illustrations for a book, but her favorite aspect will always be color. She uses mainly watercolors, gouache and oil. She adds a touch of wooden pencil for the details. She has illustrated dozens of books and has been nominated for several awards. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Product Information

  • Release: September 5, 2017
  • $17.95 Hardcover with Jacket
  • 24 Pages
  • 8.5 x 8.5
  • Picture Book
  • Ages 6-9 / Grades 1-3
  • ISBN: 9781772600377


  • Character Education
    > Empathy
    > Family & Friendship
  • History & Social Studies
    > Canadian History
    > First Nations & Indigenous Peoples
  • Reflecting Diversity

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