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Young Adult Nonfiction Social Topics

If I Go Missing

by (author) Brianna Jonnie

with Nahanni Shingoose

illustrated by Neal Shannacappo

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Dec 2019
Social Topics, Canada, Prejudice & Racism, Aboriginal & Indigenous
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
7 to 12
Recommended Reading age
12 to 18
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2019
    List Price

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Combining graphic fiction and non-fiction, this young adult graphic novel serves as a window into one of the unique dangers of being an Indigenous teen in Canada today.

The text of the book is derived from excerpts of a letter written to the Winnipeg Chief of Police by fourteen-year-old Brianna Jonnie — a letter that went viral and was also the basis of a documentary film. In her letter, Jonnie calls out the authorities for neglecting to immediately investigate missing Indigenous people and urges them to "not treat me as the Indigenous person I am proud to be," if she were to be reported missing.

Indigenous artist Neal Shannacappo provides the artwork for the book. Through his illustrations he imagines a situation in which a young Indigenous woman does disappear, portraying the reaction of her community, her friends, the police and media.

An author's note at the end of the book provides context for young readers about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

About the authors

BRIANNA JONNIE is an Ojibwe. Brianna was a member of the youth empowerment group Strong Girls, Strong World, for which she spoke to young people about healthy relationships, she continues to educate teens about youth empowerment through the Teen Talk program. Brianna has been awarded the City of Winnipeg Citizen Equity Committee's Youth Role Model Award in the advocacy category, the Lieutenant Governor's Vice-Regal award and the Make a Difference community award for her volunteer work. Brianna lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Brianna Jonnie's profile page

NAHANNI SHINGOOSE is Saulteaux, originally from Roseau River First Nation, Manitoba. She is an elementary teacher and author of Indigenous content, including teacher resources, picture books, graphic novels, and fiction for teens and young adults. She is the recipient of a Golden Leaf National Publishing Award, an Indspire Indigenous Educator Award, and two Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Nahanni is also Lead Writer for the National Film Board's Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Program. She lives in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

Nahanni Shingoose's profile page

Neal Shannacappo is a Nakawe (Saulteaux) Poet and graphic novelist from Rolling River FN in Manitoba and he is Eagle Clan. He's currently living and working in the city of Ottawa on unceded Algonquin territory. He's a stay-at-home father and part-time Indigenous Resource Consultant. Through his work, Neal celebrates the vibrant Indigenous artistic community and hopes to inspire Indigenous children and youth to see their own creative dreams through to fruition. His stories appear in the Indigenous anthologies Sovereign Traces vol. 1 - Not (Just) (An)other and Vol. 2 - Relational Constellation. His book Mashkawide'e (Has a strong heart) was published by Senator Kim Pate. He is the illustrator of If I Go Missing written by Brianna Jonnie, which won the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Graphic Novel. The Krillian Key (Kegedonce Press, 2020) is the first graphic novel of his own creation. Through the Eyes of Asunder is his first book of poetry.

Neal Shannacappo's profile page


  • Winner, Indigenous Voices Awards: Published Graphic Novels, Comics, and Illustrated Books in any Language
  • Commended, Starred Selection - Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Nominated, Forest of Reading - Red Maple Award
  • Short-listed, First Nation Communities READ Award

Editorial Reviews

"Jonnie’s words hold a gravity and maturity to them well beyond her years."

Region of Waterloo Library

"This is a must-read for audiences to appreciate the Indigenous community in Canada."

Holr Magazine

"It’s a powerful text — one that should be read, and discussed, in every social studies classroom."

Montreal Gazette

"Emotive writing and beautiful imagery aside, if you know anyone who has a lack of empathy for Indigenous communities, make them read this book."

The Charity Report Literary Hub

"A poignant spotlight onto the difficulties Indigenous women face. Every library should have a copy of this potent work."

School Library Journal, starred review

"This short graphic novel drives home a powerful message with its poetic prose."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Jonnie’s words are accompanied by intensely emotional illustrations."

Booklist Online

"A beautiful, haunting, and accurate account of a brave teenager who sought justice for her people. I will never forget this beautiful graphic novel with its equally gorgeous images."


"This book would be a great addition to a literature circle or introduction to a unit on Indigenous perspectives for any high school classroom or library."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"The haunting plea of a young Indigenous woman endures long after the cover is closed."

Region of Waterloo Library

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