Muskrat Will Be Swimming - Grades : 2 - 7
Although Jeannie loves her lakeside neighborhood, her feelings are hurt by her schoolmates who live in fancier homes and call her a Lake Rat.
When she confides her troubles to her grandfather, he tells her about his own childhood experiences with teasing. As the story unfolds, the grandfather shares a traditional Seneca story that helps Jeannie to find strength in her Native identity and a new appreciation for the different roles that animals play in nature. This is a quiet book that celebrates family and place and the teachings of Native people. Muskrat Will Be Swimming is based on a real incident in Cheryl Savageau's life.
Muskrat Will Be Swimming will help inspire classroom conversations about:
- Teasing and bullying
- Storytelling traditions and customs in Native and non-Native families
- The Seneca creation story and creation stories in general
- Traditions of the Sky Woman in Native stories
- Contemporary Native American families and building connections to tribal identity
- Native identity and mixed-blood ancestry
- Significance of dreams in Native culture
- The role of animals as teachers in Abenaki culture
- Animals of the forest
- The Abenaki view towards the natural environment
- The value of experiences in the natural world for children's growth