Books

David Alexander Robertson on why you should read the classic novel In Search of April Raintree

Every day in June, an Indigenous writer will recommend a book they love by a First Nations, Métis or Inuit author from Canada.
David Alexander Robertson is a graphic novelist from Winnipeg. (David A. Robertson/Portage & Main Press)

June is Indigenous Book Club Month. CBC Books will publish a recommendation each day from an Indigenous writer for a book written by another Indigenous author.

David Alexander Robertson recommends In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Mosionier.

"I hate to make the obvious pick, but I'm going to. With a twist. It's In Search of April Raintree, one of the most iconic books in Canadian literature, let alone Indigenous literature. It is powerful, timeless and more relevant today than ever. As we tackle the historical and ongoing impacts of colonialism, and as our youth try to navigate through the difficulties of living in two worlds: westernized society and traditional life, Raintree is essential reading. A co-worker recently asked me what Indigenous books she should start with, if she wanted to really learn. I put In Search of April Raintree on her desk within minutes. Now, the twist: as a writer, I get asked this question most often: "What inspired you to write this book?" And, in fairness, I wonder that too when I read literature. For my pick, wonder no more. Beatrice Mosionier wrote a nonfiction book a few years ago called Come Walk With Me. It's an autobiography that details how and why she wrote In Search of April Raintree. It is a rare, engaging and moving glimpse into the creation of one of Canada's great works of literature."

David Alexander Robertson has created several bestselling graphic novels including the 7 Generations series, the Tales From Big Spirit series, Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story, Sugar Falls and Will I See? His first children's book, When We Were Alone, was published in December 2016 and subsequently won the McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People award in 2017. In 2015, he was awarded the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. He is of Irish, Scottish, English and Cree descent.

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