Lacey Little Bird is a 12-year-old girl from the Siksika First Nation in Alberta, who likes to spend time with her grandmother.
When she hears how North American grandmothers are sewing and selling purses to help grandmothers in Africa, who are raising their AIDS-orphaned grandchildren, Lacey asks to be allowed to help. Lacey’s desire to use her talents to help others transforms her sense of self, and demonstrates how one person can make a difference.
The organization Lacey becomes involved with is the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s “Grandmothers to Grandmothers” program. Lacey and the African Grandmothers was inspired by a true story.
Finalist 2011 Rocky Mountain Book Awards
Honourable Mention 2010 Exporting Alberta Awards, Canadian Authors' Assn.
“Every sentence in this deceptively simple novel shows something about Lacey, the twelve year old Siksika heroine…The reader will long remember Lacey and her ability to make a difference -- but will also remember Lacey‘s family and teachers, and the depiction of life on the Siksika reserve. A beautifully crafted and moving novel, affirming that the ordinary is extraordinary, that every moment is an important moment."
– Judges’ Comments, 2010 Exporting Alberta Awards, Canadian Authors' Association
“If you’re looking for a book to inspire young people to take action and make a difference in the world, this is definitely worth reading.”
– Canadian Children’s Book News, Spring 2010, Vol. 33, No. 2
“For many kids, Lacey and the African Grandmothers would serve both as a window into other cultures and a major eye-opener.
“Holler paints an unflinching picture of the challenges many First Nations people continue to experience. However, she places as much emphasis on positives -- personal and cultural identity, family and community support, love – as she does on the negative. Therefore, instead of stealing focus, these serious issues provide background and context. Nothing about this book feels distracting or ‘preachy’ – it’s simply the captivating story of a girl who realizes that, no matter how young you are or how little you have, there’s always something you can do to make life better for someone else. And that’s a message all kids could stand to hear.”
– Lindsey Carmichael, Ten Stories Up blog, May 27, 2010
“Could it really happen?
“It’s a question often posed by readers. Fictional stories need to have the ring of authenticity or readers, particularly young ones, likely won’t read them. There will be no questions asked about Alberta freelance writer Sue Farrell Holler’s book for young people, Lacey and the African Grandmothers, which was inspired by a powerful real-life story.”
– Shirley Byers, Prairie Books Now, Spring 2010
“A wonderful recreational read as well as a useful classroom resource for literature circles, character development curriculum, citizenship and community studies.”
-- Resource Links, Volume 15, Number 3, February 2010