Reviews

Goodbye Buffalo Bay

Patty Osborne

Larry Loyie’s new book, Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus Books), covers the lonely and bewildering time that Loyie spent at a Native residential school and his subsequent problems finding a place in his Aboriginal community, and even though Loyie tackles harsh topics, the rhythm and simplicity of the writing speaks to the inner strength that helped young Loyie withstand the racist attitudes and strict discipline of the nuns and priests and to find solace in the unexpected kindness of a teacher, the freedom of skating on a frozen lake, and even the hard physical work that he and his fellow students were expected to perform. At age fourteen, when Loyie returned home for the summer, he vowed he would never return to the residential school, which meant he had to leave his home again to find work wherever he could. This YA novel is not only a joy to read, it is a refreshing portrayal of the life of a First Nations kid as a continuum, rather than as one crisis after another.

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