Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Girl Called Echo: Pemmican Wars - Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk

Title: A Girl Called Echo: Pemmican Wars (Vol. 1)
Author: Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk
Publisher: Highwater Press, 2017 (Paperback)
Length: 48 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Science Fiction
Started: April 28, 2018
Finished: April 28, 2018

From the back cover:

Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Metis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee's history class turns extraordinary, and Echo's life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee's lecture, Eco finds herself transported to another time and place - a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie - and back again to the present. In the following weeks, Echo slips back and forth in time. She visits a Metis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican Wars.

Pemmican Wars is the first graphic novel in the series A Girl Called Echo.

Lately, I've been actively trying to hunt down YA literature with Indigenous characters in them, so when I came across this I decided to give it a try.

Echo is a young Metis girl living in foster care. When she's learning about Metis history in class, she actually manages to travel to the Qu'Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan in 1814, in the middle of the Pemmican Wars. As she does this several times, she actually becomes involved in seeking out more of her history by checking out books from the library and relaying what she's learned to her mother during a visit.

The only downside of this book was that it wasn't even 50 pages long. The series does continue, but it is unfortunate that each volume is so small. I do like that the author includes historical timelines and notes to help explain concepts.

This is definitely something I would buy for a classroom. Echo is a relatable character and the content is not only Canadian, but also representative of Indigenous history, something we sorely need more of  in YA literature.

Thoughts on the cover:
I lie the colour palette, and Echo's profile image is pensive and quiet, much like she is for most of the book.

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