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Sugar Falls

A Residential School Story

10th Anniversary Edition

By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Scott B. Henderson & Donovan Yaciuk
Foreword by Murray Sinclair
Afterword by Betty Ross
Imprint: There are no related objects.
Categories: Young Adult Fiction, Historical, Canada, Prejudice & Racism
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Spirituality and Ceremony, Worldviews, Teachings, and Protocols, Authentic Indigenous History, Land-Based or Place-Based Learning, Social Emotional Learning, Courage, Death, Grief, and Bereavement, Emotions and Feelings, Friendship, Honesty, Mental Health and Well-Being, Responsibility, Self-Esteem and Self-Reliance, Social Justice, Discrimination, Family Separation, Genocide and Cultural Extinction, Impacts of Colonization and Colonialism, Prejudice and Racism, Residential Schools, Strong Female Characters
Cultures & Peoples: Cree
Indigenous Languages: Cree, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 12–18
Grade: 7–12
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell Z+, Lexile® Framework for Reading: HL550L
Paperback : 9781553799757, 48 pages, May 2021
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553799764, 48 pages, June 2021
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553799771, 48 pages, June 2021

A young girl struggles to survive residential school in this timeless graphic novel from the bestselling author of The Barren Grounds.


Inspired by true events, this story of strength, family, and culture shares the awe-inspiring resilience of Elder Betty Ross.

Abandoned as a young child, Betsy is adopted into a loving family. A few short years later, at the age of 8, everything changes. Betsy is taken away to a residential school. There she is forced to endure abuse and indignity, but Betsy recalls the words her father spoke to her at Sugar Falls—words that give her the resilience, strength, and determination to survive.

Sugar Falls is based on the true story of Betty Ross, Elder from Cross Lake First Nation. We wish to acknowledge, with the utmost gratitude, Betty’s generosity in sharing her story. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Sugar Falls goes to support the bursary program for The Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation.

This 10th-anniversary edition brings David A. Robertson’s national bestseller to life in full colour, with a foreword by The Hon. Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and a touching afterword from Elder Betty Ross herself.


Shortlisted for the SOLS First Nation Communities READ Award

Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS)

Among CBC Books' 21 Canadian comics to watch for in spring 2021

CBC Books

For those Canadians who know little about the residential school system, Sugar Falls is a crucial text in their education about a truly shameful episode in the history of Canada. Highly Recommended.

CM Association

A powerful graphic novel.


[Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story] was still able to shock me. The truths this novel is able to portray so clearly through the use of illustrations is amazing, and I would encourage anyone and everyone to read it.

Bella Crysler, Ottawa Public Library

Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story is a wonderfully illustrated. ..graphic novel that through images and words, portrays the emotions and experiences of Betty. Its impact on young readers, including university students, provides grounds for discussion and a visual connection to a human experience. It is a definite must-read that is both accessible and engaging, while offering a lesson about the past and engaging with the present.

Karl Hele, Anishinabek News