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The Helen Betty Osborne Story

By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Scott B. Henderson
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Young Adult Nonfiction, Social Topics, Aboriginal & Indigenous, Prejudice & Racism
Big Ideas: Authentic Indigenous History, Contemporary Setting, Social Emotional Learning, Courage, Death, Grief, and Bereavement, Emotions and Feelings, Friendship, Mental Health and Well-Being, Responsibility, Self-Esteem and Self-Reliance, Social Justice, Discrimination, Impacts of Colonization and Colonialism, MMIWG2S, Prejudice and Racism, Residential Schools, Strong Female Characters
Cultures & Peoples: Cree, Swampy Cree

Interest Age: 12–18
Grade: 7–12
Reading Level: Lexile® Framework for Reading: HL450L
Paperback : 9781553795445, 32 pages, April 2015
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553799955, 32 pages, February 2021
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553799962, 32 pages, February 2021


Helen Betty Osborne, known as Betty to her closest friends and family, dreamed of becoming a teacher. She left home to attend residential school and later moved to The Pas, Manitoba, to attend high school. On November 13, 1971, Betty was abducted and brutally murdered by four young men. Initially met with silence and indifference, her tragic murder resonates loudly today. Betty represents one of almost 1,200 Indigenous women in Canada who have been murdered or gone missing. This is her story.

Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story has been selected as a White Raven 2016 by the International Youth Library for its annual catalogue of book recommendations in the field of international children’s and youth literature. This year’s White Ravens catalogue contains 200 titles in 42 languages from 60 countries.


  • Winner, White Raven list of international youth literature 2018
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2015
  • Winner, <I>Selected for</I> the White Raven 2016 list of international youth literature 2018


...a powerful indictment of the racism, sexism and indifference that has led to the epidemic of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Selected for In The Margins Official List, 2016.

In The Margins

Selected for the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens, 2015.

Canadian Children’s Book Centre