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list price: $21.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Sep 2020
pages: 256
ISBN:9780735266100
publisher: PRH Canada Young Readers
imprint: Puffin Canada

The Barren Grounds

The Misewa Saga, Book One

by David A. Robertson

tagged: fantasy & magic, native american, orphans & foster homes
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Sep 2020
pages: 256
ISBN:9780735266100
publisher: PRH Canada Young Readers
imprint: Puffin Canada
Description

Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything -- including them.

About the Author

David A. Robertson (he/him/his) is the 2021 recipient of the Writer's Union of Canada's Freedom to Read Award. He is the author of more than 25 books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won a Governor General's Literary Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. David’s most recent works include the graphic novel Breakdown (The Reckoner Rises, Vol. 1), middle grade novel The Barren Grounds, children’s book On the Trapline, and memoir Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory. He is also the writer and host of the podcast Kíwew, which won the 2021 RTDNA Prairie Region Award for Best Podcast.

A sought-after speaker and educator, David is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award and was nominated for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. Strangers, the first book in his Reckoner trilogy, a young adult supernatural mystery, won the 2018 Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction (Manitoba Book Awards). A sought-after speaker and educator, Dave is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg. For more information, visit his website: www.darobertson.ca and follow him on Twitter: @DaveAlexRoberts

Recommended Age and Grade
Age:
10 to 18
Grade:
5 to 12
Awards
  • , Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • , Surrey Schools Book of the Year
  • Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award
  • Short-listed, National Chapter IODE Violet Downey Award
  • , Panda Book Award
  • , Governor General’s Literary Award - Young People’s Literature - Text
  • , Silver Birch Award for Fiction
Editorial Review

A 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People's Literature Nominee
One of Quill & Quire's Best Books of 2020
Recommended by booksellers on NPR's Code Switch
One of CBC Books' Best Middle-Grade and Young Adult Books of 2020
One of Canadian Children's Book News’ Best Books of 2020
A CBC Books Bestseller
PRAISE FOR The Barren Grounds

"David A. Robertson has written such a fine, beautiful novel. He manages to combine hard truths about our history with a Narnia-like fantasy, sweeping us into the world of the story while opening our hearts as well." —Susin Nielsen, author of We Are All Made of Molecules and No Fixed Address
"This middle-grade fantasy deftly and compellingly centers Indigenous culture." —STARRED REVIEWKirkus Reviews
“This is a book that is rich in its characterization, evocative in its descriptions, and skillful in its weaving together of traditions of the past and life in the present.” —CM Magazine
“[T]he treatment of Cree culture resonates, and the engaging characters and folklore ensure readers will look forward to the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly
“Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories, this fantasy is very much its own tale of ruptured Indigenous culture, of environmental reciprocity and care.” —Toronto Star
The Barren Grounds has a strong message about living with the earth and not taking more than you need.” —Toronto Public Library

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