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Thomas King, illus. by Natasha Donovan. Little, Brown, $24.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-316-59306-9
In this sparsely worded, moving graphic novel adaptation of King’s 1993 short story of the same name, the team adeptly captures the dilemma of Native Nations with homelands split by political borders. “For the Blackfoot,” King (who is of Cherokee/Greek descent) writes in the dedication, “who understand that the border is a figment of someone else’s imagination.” An unnamed Blackfoot boy from a Canadian reserve recalls his 17-year-old sister, Laetitia’s, move to Salt Lake City. Because Laetitia’s father is from Rocky Boy, a Chippewa-Cree tribe in the U.S., Laetitia is free to live in the States. After several years, the boy and his mother drive to visit Laetitia, only to be asked their citizenship at the American border. “Blackfoot,” the mother repeats to various guards in the hours they are detained, until they are sent back to Canada—only to face the same tribulations at the Canadian border, thus beginning a days-long loop. Simple pen-and-wash illustrations by Donovan (who is Métis) capture the child’s distress as the likelihood of his reunion with Laetitia dwindles. This sobering yet inspiring tale effectively spotlights a Native woman who quietly demands that her voice be heard and her identity recognized. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/05/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-316-59305-2
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