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
Tasha Spillett tells the story through the girls’ dialogue and text messages—allowing readers to be continually immersed in their world. Métis artist Natasha Donovan’s full-colour illustrations stand out.
—Quill & Quire
In this haunting graphic novel, debut author Spillett and [illlustrator] Donovan (The Sockeye Mother) present a story of girls growing up with the historical legacy of Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people, particularly women and girls.
Recommended by The 49th Shelf for 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.
Surviving the City is available as an eBook in ePUB and PDF formats. Select a format using the drop-down menu to the left and checkout as usual. You will be sent an email with instructions to download the file.
Nominated for the Great Graphic Novels List
Winner Indigenous Voices Award, alternate format
Co-winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Author
Winner of the Manuela Dias Design and Illustration Award, Graphic Novel category
Selected for CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens list
Nominated for the 2020 MYRCA Northern Lights list