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High Flying Dreams

Freddie the Flyer written by Fred Carmichael and Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, illustrated by Audrea Loreen-Wulf, and published by Tundra Books.

This co-authored autobiography of the first indigenous commercial pilot will inspire the shyest reader to overcome challenges and discover their bravery.

Throughout the narrative, interestingly structured by months of the year, the reader experiences the life of Fred Carmichael. As he is of Scottish-Irish and Gwich’in descent and lives on the native lands of the Gwich’in and Inuvialuit peoples, each month is labeled in these three respective languages.

In the month of February (Nohjuu ts’an, Uvluqtuhiinarvik), the reader learns that Freddie was a shy boy. And yet, so many other character traits will come to mind as readers marvel at his life. For example, determined. He worked various jobs to not only get through a challenging program at flight school, but also to buy a plane to fly home once he succeeded. A leader. He found a company and trained others in a multitude of aviation jobs (pilots, mechanics, attendants, etc.). Brave! He never shied away from helping others. He always kept a look out from high above of anyone who might be in need.

As readers learn more about this extraordinary man, many other positive attributes will emerge in this deeply researched, conscious, and well-written book.

Imagine it!

What languages are connected to your origins and ancestry? What languages do local Indigenous people speak where you live?

Imagine how to honor them...

With the help of your grown-ups, teachers, librarians, neighbors, etc., list the months of the year in the language you speak at home and two other languages that connect to whom you are and where you live.

Imagine something special you have done or would like to do in each of the months and draw a picture or write a description or poem to describe it.

Share it with family and friends.

Imagine how much everyone will learn about each other!

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