Dog Tracks

Fifth House. Jan. 2021. 240p. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9781927083598.
Gr 4-9–Slipperjack (Eabametoong First Nation) crafts a hopeful coming-of-age tale about 13-year-old Abby who was raised by her grandparents, whom she lovingly calls Choom and Goom, her version of short form in Ojibwe. The teen must return to her family after her grandfather becomes ill, and she reconnects with her mom, stepdad, sister, and half-brother in the Bear Creek Reserve. Through Abby’s journey, readers are introduced to Anishinawbe people, culture, and language. This novel of a loving Indigenous family is endearing. Abby learns her language and develops life skills based on her culture, all with the support of her family, who are always laughing and joking around. This a refreshing read that does not delve into negative stereotypes or social issues that sometimes overshadow Indigenous stories.
VERDICT This uplifting coming-of-age tale is a recommended purchase.

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