Pemmican Wars

by Katherena Vermette and Scott Henderson

Echo is a 13-year-old Métis girl who just started at a new school. During history... read more

Echo is a 13-year-old Métis girl who just started at a new school. During history class she finds herself transported back to Qu’Appelle Valley in 1814, watching Métis hunt buffalo. Class after class, as they learn about the events leading to the Pemmican Wars in Canada, Echo is witnessing them firsthand. As she travels back in time she learns more about what is happening from a young Métis woman, who pays more attention to Echo than any of her classmates. In the present, Echo dives into research to learn more about this time in history. All of it provides a connection to her Métis heritage, something she’s never learned much about. Echo’s mother is in prison, and Echo herself appears to be living in foster care—both things shown but not expressly stated or explained in this arresting graphic novel. Dynamic visuals underscore both Echo’s isolation (she often walks the school halls with earbuds, listening to music) and the strong sense of community among the Métis she visits in the past, something that she begins to share with her mom when Echo visits her. A timeline at book’s end provides more context for the history surrounding the Pemmican Wars, although a brief prose narrative would also have been helpful. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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