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Young Adult Fiction Historical

Who Owns the Clouds?

by (author) Mario Brassard

illustrated by Gérard DuBois

Initial publish date
Jan 2023
Historical, General, Horror
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
7 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A powerful and visually arresting fictional memoir of trauma, memory and hope in the aftermath of war, for readers 12 and up. For fans of Maus.

Even though Mila is no longer a child, she is overcome by memories — memories of a childhood halfway between reality and dreaming, and not knowing which is which.

In her dreams, Mila and her family leave their bombed village to stand in line for weeks on end, suitcases in hand, hoping to move on to better lives. But the memories of her uncle’s disappearance, and the approach of looming clouds, keep blurring the lines between past and present, real and unreal. How can Mila move forward? Perhaps if the clouds can remind her of where she’s from, they can also show her where to go . . .

Winner of a Governor General’s Award, Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, and the Bologna Ragazzi Award, this stunningly evocative book about experience, trauma and healing will stay with readers from beginning to end.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

MARIO BRASSARD received a bachelor’s degree in French Studies from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières. He has published four children’s novels in French, including La saison des pluies (2011), which was awarded the TD Prize for Canadian Literature for Children, nominated for the Governor General’s Award and selected for the IBBY 2012 Honor List and the White Ravens; Quand hurle la nuit (2015), a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, and Ferdinand F., 81 ans, chenille (2018), which won the Governor General’s Award. Who Owns the Clouds? is his first illustrated work.

GÉRARD DUBOIS studied graphic design at the École Supérieure des Arts Estienne in Paris before moving to Montreal in 1991. His 2015 children’s book Enfantillages received a Special Mention from the BolognaRagazzi. His illustration work has appeared in the New York Times (in weekly column “Gray Matter”), the Wall Street Journal, Time (in Nancy Gibbs' ongoing column), GQ, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, Le Monde, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s, The Atlantic and others, as well multiple Folio Society editions, and he has received multiple awards from the Society of Illustrators. His art has been exhibited in galleries around the world. In 2018, Canada Post released a stamp with his art as part of the Great Canadian Illustrators series. He currently teaches at the Université du Quèbec.

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