Tasha Spillet’s graphic-novel debut tells a story of kinship, resilience, cultural resurgence, and the anguish of a missing loved one. Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up Indigenous in an urban landscape – they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?
Surviving the City is one book in The Debwe Series.
Listed among Best Canadian Comics of 2018 by CBC Books
Recommended by The 49th Shelf for the, The BFF List. A list for new books for teens and young readers about the challenges and rewards of friendship. And yes, the drama too, which always makes for good reading. —49th Shelf
Centering the strong hearts of Indigenous women and girls and shattering racist assumptions, Surviving the City is a beautiful, uncompromising honour song to those of us that not only survive the urban, but navigate through it with courage from our Ancestors.
—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost
A startling, timely, and beautifully illustrated account of the plight of indigenous girls, women, and two-children in Canada. Not to be missed.
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