Surviving the City, Volume 1 (Paperback)
Winner of the Indigenous Voices Award, alternate format and an In the Margins Top Fiction Novel for 2020
Tasha Spillett's graphic novel debut, Surviving the City, is a story about womanhood, friendship, colonialism, and the anguish of a missing loved one. Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape - they're so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez's grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can't stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can't bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez's community find her before it's too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don't?
About the Author
Tasha Spillett-Sumner (she/her/hers) draws her strength from both her Nehiyaw and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is a celebrated educator, poet, and emerging scholar. Tasha is most heart-tied to contributing to community-led work that centres on land and water defence, and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Tasha is currently working on her PhD in Education through the University of Saskatchewan, where she holds a Vanier Canada Award.
Twins is a charming new middle-grade graphic novel that is uplifting and entertaining, but also extremely realistic in its portrayals of just what it feels like to start the shift from elementary school from middle school. This story follows Maureen and Francine, two twin sisters, as they enter into middle school together. This story perfectly captures that strange and liminal space that one feels when transitioning from elementary school from middle school, where you are still a kid, but suddenly the world sees you as so much older. It captures all those confusing moments: the innocent conflicts while making new friends and wanting to find yourself; mixed with the scarier, more adult stuff like academic pressure and even how scary it feels to be witness to racial prejudice or vandalism. Twins is written and illustrated with intelligence and charm and is the next pick for fans of such things as Raina Telgemeier’s many books, the Baby Sitter’s Club, or the Nat Enough series!
(Graphic Novel, Ages 8+) - reviewed by Isabel