for The Redemption of Oscar Wolf by James Bartleman
In the early 1930s, Oscar Wolf, a 13-year-old Native from the Chippewas of Rama Indian Reserve, sets fire to the business section of his village north of Toronto in a fit of misguided rage against white society, inadvertently killing his grandfather and a young maid. Tortured by guilt and fearful of divine retribution, Oscar sets out on a lifetime quest for redemption.
His journey takes him to California where he works as a fruit picker and prizefighter during the Great Depression, to the Second World War where he becomes a decorated soldier, to university where he excels as a student and athlete, and to the diplomatic service in the postwar era where he causes a stir at the United Nations in New York and in Colombia and Australia.
Beset by an all-too-human knack for making doubtful choices, Oscar discovers that peace of mind is indeed hard to find in this saga of mid-20th-century aboriginal life in Canada and abroad that will appeal to readers of all backgrounds and ages.