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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold

by (author) Jessica Outram

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
May 2023
Native Canadian, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Exploration & Discovery
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


It's the summer of 1914. Eight-year-old Bernice lives with her family in a lighthouse on Georgian Bay. One day Bernice wakes up to find a stranger named Tom Thomson sleeping in their living room. When she overhears him talk about gold on a nearby island, Bernice is determined to find it.

Inspired by her beloved Mémèr’s stories of their Métis family’s adventures and hardships, Bernice takes the treasure map the stranger left behind and sets out in a rowboat with nothing more than her two dogs for company and the dream of changing her family’s fortunes forever.

About the author

At two weeks old, Jessica Outram visited family on Georgian Bay and has spent as much time there as possible ever since. Jessica is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. An educator for over 20 years, she is Principal of Program in Indigenous Education in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. Jessica lives in Cobourg, Ontario, where she is their 4th Poet Laureate.

Jessica Outram's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Included in "15 Canadian middle-grade and YA books to read this summer".

CBC Books

"An excellent complementary read for indigenous or Canadian history studies. It is a worthwhile and thoughtful read and an admirable way of paying tribute to past generations. Highly Recommended."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"As a story, it will interest readers of all ages, moving deftly between the warm family scenes, industries across the water, and the dangerous storms of Georgian Bay."

Historical Novel Society

Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold is an amusing and informative story that serves both to entertain and educate the reader. It would be a positive addition to any home or school library.”

Anishinabek News

"A compelling novel about an adventurous girl who finds that the real gold on Georgian Bay is right where she lives."

Parry Sound North Star

"Author Jessica Outram has given us a story with a difference: a book that incorporates many phrases in the Métis language, Michif.... When eight-year-old Bernice is shown a piece of rock with gold streaks and finds a map that once belonged to famous artist Tom Thomson, she’s convinced she can find the gold and solve her family’s financial problems. After many false starts she sets out alone to try to reach the secret location. Will she succeed? Mid-level readers (9-12) will be urging her on."

Winnipeg Free Press

"A treasure map sparks a coastal Canadian Métis eight-year-old’s search for gold in an exuberant, richly detailed novel from a Métis author sharing her family’s fictionalized history.... A sweet historical fiction pick for fans of well-intentioned young protagonists with enlightening Indigenous representation.”


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