Ask a Bookseller: a graphic novel about a life-changing journey

cover of a book
Book cover of Andy's Tribal Canoe Journey by Seabacola Beaton, Jorja Johnson, and Cadence Manson.
Courtesy of Strong Nations Publishing

This week’s recommendation comes from Qwultultun Robert Goldsmith of Strong Nations, an indigenous-owned bookstore and publisher on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Qwultultun recommends the graphic novel “Andy’s Tribal Canoe Journey,” written by Seabacola Beaton, Jorja Johnson, and Cadence Manson, illustrated by Natalie Laurin.  

The graphic novel tells the story of high schooler Andy, who had a rough year of school. Andy’s grandfather intervenes and sends him on a tribal canoe journey, which is a Pacific Northwest gathering of nations, with the agreement that he will keep a journal of his experiences. At first Andy feels like he’s being punished, but his canoe journey quickly becomes a valuable time of self-discovery and discovery of his culture. The fictional story was written following interviews with teens who participated in this experience. 

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