A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

French / Canada (Québec)

Miguetsh! Portrait d’un passeur d’histoires
(Thank you! Portrait of a story smuggler)

Noël, Michel (text)
Néwashish, Jacques (illus.)
Saint-Lambert (Québec) [et al. ]: Dominique et Compagnie, 2014. – 175 p.
(Series: Ado et compagnie)
ISBN 978-2-89739-083-9

Algonquin / 1940-1960 – Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) – Native Americans – Childhood memories – Autobiographical novel

In this autobiographically coloured coming-of-age novel, Michel Noël describes the childhood of a boy named Pien in the 1940s and 1950s. After his parents separate, his white mother intentionally leaves him in the care of his Anishinaabe family. Pien enjoys unburdended years growing up by the Cabonga Reservoir. He is initially sheltered from the smouldering conflicts concerning land theft via dubious white contractors and the connected threat to the Anishinaabe way of life. His traditional upbringing by his father and grandfather ends with the rite of passage from adolescence to manhood. This provides Pien with great clarity concerning where he belongs. When he decides to go to “white school”, he is well-prepared for possible enmities: he is Algonquin. Writing with sensitivity and knowledge, Michel Noël portrays how Pien is initiated into the values of his people. The philosophical thoughts of Pien’s grandfather Wawaté begin each chapter. (Age: 12+)