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Sports and an Indigenous Read – Book Reviews

Through the Eyes of Blue by Catherine Matsalla:

  • internationally recognized ultra-endurance athlete Ellie has competed in the world’s most challenging races with her faithful canine companion, Blue, never far from her side
  • she gets involved with a high tech performance company that adds many new twists to her life
  • this intriguing story explores the depths of love, loyalty, and perseverance between Ellie and Blue
  • Catherine adds the mystique of having Blue as part of the narrative, which provides a fascinating interface with Ellie and the other characters
  • I enjoyed the athletic, spiritual, mental story that she weaved together in a masterful way
  • being a lifelong dog owner, the story resonated very strongly with me
  • Catherine is a friend, and this is her first novel which she did a great job on
  • she has been a teacher, coach, and financial planner but her passion in life involves exploring the world, learning from others, and transforming it into meaningful prose

 

In My Own Mocassins by Helen Knott:

  • Indigenous author, Helen Knott, portrays an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence
  • with gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great, great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism while reclaiming her spirit
  • Helen’s vivid account of her life is highly commendable despite being very challenging emotionally to read
  • this book provided the additional background for me of what people right in my own backyard have gone through without being visible in my circles
  • Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro-descent woman living in Northeastern British Columbia. In 2016 she was one of sixteen global change-makers featured by the Nobel Women’s Initiative for her commitment to ending gender-based violence. She was named an RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer in 2019. This is her first book.

 

Sooley by John Grisham:

  • this is the story of a Sudanese basketball player by the name of Samuel Sooleymon (Sooley) who receives the trip of a lifetime to play in a basketball tournament in the United States
  • despite his basketball deficiencies which are offset by his other outstanding athletic attributes and due to issues in his homeland, he gets a chance to stay in the U.S. and play college ball
  • at the same time, his family is suffering through a civil war back in Sudan that is beyond imaginable
  • Grisham weaves these two stories together magically, and it kept me turning the pages at a feverish pace
  • I certainly didn’t see the ending coming that Grisham blindsided me with, and I’m still trying to process it
  • Sooley was one of my favorite reads of 2021