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Groundwood Books

Looks Like Daylight

Voices of Indigenous Kids

Written by Deborah Ellis • Foreword by Loriene Roy

For students in grades 7 | Published August 01, 2018 | ISBN 9781554981212
YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / People & Places / United States / Native American

Cover of Looks Like Daylight

Regular price $12.95 CAD

256 pages | 8.5 in × 5.5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Looks Like Daylight

Voices of Indigenous Kids

Deborah Ellis • Loriene Roy

They come from all over the continent — from Iqaluit to Texas, Haida Gwaii to North Carolina. Their stories are sometimes heartbreaking; more often full of pride and hope.

You’ll meet Tingo, who has spent most of his young life living in foster homes and motels, and is now thriving after becoming involved with a Native Friendship Center; Myleka and Tulane, young Navajo artists; Eagleson, who started drinking at age twelve but now continues his family tradition working as a carver in Seattle; Nena, whose Seminole ancestors remained behind in Florida during the Indian Removals, and who is heading to New Mexico as winner of her local science fair; Isabella, who defines herself more as Native than American; Destiny, with a family history of alcoholism and suicide, who is now a writer and pow-wow dancer.

Deborah briefly introduces each child and then steps back, letting the kids speak directly to the reader. The result is a collection of frank and often surprising interviews with kids aged nine to eighteen, as they talk about their daily lives, about the things that interest them, and about how being Indigenous has affected who they are and how they see the world.


I live just over the hill from where the Wounded Knee massacre took place, over by Wounded Knee Creek. … For white kids it’s just something in a history book. For me it’s my family. It’s my ground that they bled on. It’s personal.

— Destiny, 15

Even white people who know I’m Native can sometimes act like jerks. They’ll say, “Heading home to your teepee?” or go “Woo woo woo woo!” and pound their hands to their lips, doing some lame Hollywood version of a war dance.

Others ask me questions, and some of the questions are fine. You can tell when people really want to know something in order to get to know you better. But some questions go too far. Like, because I’m Ojibwe they think I was born on some sort of different spiritual plane or something.

— Brittany, l7

My chanii [grandfather] and my nana and others ran away from the residential school they were put into. Some of the older generation like my great-grandparents looked at the residential school as a good thing, but the schools weren’t as bad for them. For my nana and chanii, it was a whole lot of abuse. They were treated really badly.

My mother says there is no way to make up for the crimes of the past. There’s only forward.

— Cohen, 14

About the Author

Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis is a member of the Order of Canada. She has won the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Governor General’s Award, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. She is best known for her Breadwinner series, which has been published in twenty-five languages, with $2 million in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International.

Loriene Roy

Awards and Praise

"It’s heartening that so many of these young people are positive about their lives, no matter how troubled, and about their futures....Ellis’ book is an excellent opportunity for classroom discussion and individual, empathy-inducing reading." — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

  • Commended Notable Books for a Global Society, 2014
  • Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 2014
  • Winner Social Justice Literature Award, 2014
  • Winner Aesop Prize, 2013
  • Commended Notable Books for a Global Society, 2014
  • Short-listed Red Maple Award, 2015
  • Short-listed Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, 2014
  • Short-listed Red Maple Award for Non-Fiction, 2015