Kids experience stress too! That’s the idea be- hind this book and it brings the reader on a journey to discover why that matters. Starting out with early 20th century American physi- ologist Walter Cannon’s discovery that stress affects the bodies of living animals – specifi- cally his cat’s – the book investigates the fight or flight response and delves into long-term ef- fects of stress like heart disease and addiction. The second half of the book suggests ways to overcome stressful situations and describes the benefits of lowering stress. There are “Stress Busters” throughout the book that give stu- dents ideas on how to deal with daily stressors, and many of these can be adapted into lessons to help students in their day-to-day lives. Mental health and stress play a significant

UNDER PRESSURE: THE SCIENCE OF STRESS Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Marie-Ève Tremblay Kids Can Press, 2019 76 pages, $17.99 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Reviewed by Bradley Webb

role in everyone’s lives. Many adults tend to overlook the stressors on children, but this book validates their feelings. It will let them explore themes and ideas at their own pace and can answer some questions they may have. As we help our students navigate through

traumatic events happening outside of school or stress they may be experiencing as a result of COVID-19, resources to help them under- stand and explore their feelings are valuable.

Move over Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, there are new youth detectives on the scene. The Case of Windy Lake, A Mighty Muskrats Mystery, is the first book in the series created by Cree author Michael Hutchinson. The story explores the adventures of four inseparable cousins and the bond between them, their family and their com- munity as well as their connection to the Land. Hutchinson draws from his experiences

as a member of Misipawistik Cree Nation in Treaty 5 territory to create a story that allows Indigenous youth to see themselves reflected in a positive manner, while addressing contem- porary issues facing Indigenous communities. The Mighty Muskrats, Sam, Otter, Atim

THE CASE OF WINDY LAKE, A MIGHTY MUSKRATS MYSTERY Michael Hutchinson Second Story Press, 2019 146 Pages, $10.95 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Reviewed by Kareena Butler

and Chickadee, are known in their community for their inquisitive nature. They often gather in their secret hangout, a Bombardier van-like vehicle hidden amongst old cars and trucks at the dump. One day, after hearing about the dis- appearance of a visiting archaeologist from the city, they decide their next adventure will be to solve this mystery. By listening to community Elders, their Grandpa and Uncle Levi, the four cousins uncover clues from the Land and the animals, which take them on a different path from the RCMP search. Will these clues lead them to Dr. Troy Pixton or is it too late?

The secondary storyline involves a commu-

nity conflict, as readers are introduced to the Mighty Muskrats’ adult cousin Denice. She is protesting the local mining company that has polluted the environment, changed the water levels and divided the community. During her hunger strike and vision quest, Denice learns that fighting for what you believe in is difficult. The Case of Windy Lake is appropriate for

junior or intermediate students and compli- ments the literacy, social studies/history and science programs by infusing Indigenous per- spectives. This story will prompt discussions and allow students to better understand their connection and responsibility to the Land. It will also activate student inquiries about trea- ties and the impact land development has on Indigenous communities and the ecosystems. The adventures of the Mighty Muskrats are

not over. Keep your eyes open for their next mystery, The Case of the Missing Auntie.

Kareena Butler is an Anishinaabe (Algonquin) member of the Ottawa Carleton Teacher Local.

Being able to teach students to talk about their feelings and stress will help them describe what is happening to them and become advocates for their own mental well-being. Although the ideas in this book are great for

any age, there are some examples and pictures that may scare a young reader including the real-life example of the Air France Flight 447 crash into the Atlantic Ocean. The website lists this book as appropriate

for Grades 6 to 8, and it would be a great fit in any junior or intermediate library. It can be linked to the health curriculum throughout all grade levels in “Strand D: Healthy Living” when talking about mental health. Under Pressure: The Science of Stress would

be a welcome addition to many junior and in- termediate libraries.

Bradley Webb is a member of the Kawartha Pine Ridge Teacher Local.


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