Books·Canadian

Good for Nothing

A teen boy returns to his northern Quebec reserve after spending time at a residential school in this yount adult novel by Michel Noël.

Michel Noël, translated by Shelley Tanaka

Fifteen-year-old Nipishish has been kicked out of residential school. He returns home to the reserve to a bleak reality: his parents are dead and everyone is assuming it's only a matter of time before he ends up drunk, in prison, or both. But when he is sent to live with a white family, things look like they are turning around. Does that mean also turning his back on his roots? How will he adjust when he returns home for a second time?

Good for Nothing is for readers ages 16 and up.

From the book

Finally he says, "The ministry has found you a foster family in the city. You have been enrolled in a high school. Your papers are ready. My assistant will drive you to the bus tomorrow morning. Pack your bags and be ready. The bus will not wait for you."

I'm glued to my chair, stunned. The words dance in my head. City. Foster family. Bus.

I try to stay calm.


From Good for Nothing by Michel Noël ©2004. Published by Groundwood Books.