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Book Title: Free as a Bird|
The author of the book: Gina McMurchy-Barber
Date of issue: February 22nd 2010
ISBN 13: 9781459716537
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 687 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.8
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Short-listed for the 2010 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature, the 2010 Snow Willow Award and the 2011 CLA Young Adult Book Award
Born with Down syndrome, Ruby Jean Sharp comes from a time when being a developmentally disabled person could mean growing up behind locked doors and barred windows and being called names like "retard" and "moron." When Ruby Jean’s caregiver and loving grandmother dies, her mother takes her to Woodlands School in New Westminster, British Columbia, and rarely visits.
As Ruby Jean herself says: "Can’t say why they called it a school – a school’s a place you go for learnin an then after you get to go home. I never learnt much bout ledders and numbers, an I sure never got to go home."
It’s here in an institution that opened in 1878 and was originally called the Provincial Lunatic Asylum that Ruby Jean learns to survive isolation, boredom, and every kind of abuse. Just when she can hardly remember if she’s ever been happy, she learns a lesson about patience and perseverance from an old crow.
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Read information about the authorGina McMurchy-Barber is an award winning Canadian author. Her books are favourites with teachers and librarians looking for stories that will bring history to life. Themes include First Nations, building the railroad, fur trade, Vikings and more.
Gina's other passions in life include animals (she was a research assistant in Borneo with Birute Galdikas, studying orangutans), archaeology (earned her degree from Simon Fraser University), writing (she is working on her sixth YA novel), and teaching (has been a classroom teacher for twenty years, and writes plays and stories that inspire her students.) She started writing while studying archaeology at university. This led her to study journalism and become a freelance writer. After the birth of her two sons she discovered the amazing world of children's books.
In 2004 Gina received the Governor General's Award for Teaching Excellence in Canadian History. Since then she has been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association Book Award, BC Book Prize, Saskatchewan's Willow Awards, the Silver Birch Awards, Hackmatack and various other book awards.
Gina's books incorporate her love of history, archaeology, children and animals. She continues to teach and visit schools to talk about her work.
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