Book cover of You Hold Me Up

You Hold Me Up



Publisher & Publication Year

Orca Books, 2017

Publisher's Book Page


Monique Gray Smith (Cree, Lakota, and Scottish)

Author's Website 


Danielle Daniel (Algonquin)



This book highlights the many positive ways that people support one another within families and the larger community, such as sharing, singing, and playing together. Author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers, and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with others. The book highlights the various ways family and community members can support one another and the final phrase, “We hold each other up” wraps up the book, showing family and friends sharing a multigenerational picnic.

Notable Achievements

National Picture Book Award Finalist; Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award 2018 Finalist; (Canada) Global Read Aloud Choice 2018; AICL's Best Books 2017; Quill & Quire's Kidlit and YA Books of the Year 2017; Resource Links The Year's Best 2017; Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year starred selection 2018; Global Read Aloud 2018; CCBC Best Book 2018; TD Summer Reading List 2020


School Library Journal: “This evocative picture book is a lovely meditation on kindness and respect. Simple declarative statements belie important cornerstones of humanity.”

Kirkus Reviews: “Calming, positive, and serenely affirmative.”

Educator Guide

This guide, created by educator ​​Emily Rozitis and designed for special needs classrooms, includes accessible social, visual, and writing activities.

Link to Guide

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