Good for Nothing

Michel Noël's novel Good for Nothing is the story of a young man who returns to his reserve after being kicked out of residential school and must find where he fits into his community.

Michel Noël, translated by Shelley Tanaka

The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he's a good-for-nothing who, like all Indians, can look forward to a life of drunkenness, prison and despair.The reserve, however, offers nothing to Nipishish. He remembers little of his late mother and father. In fact, he seems to know less about himself than the people at the band office. He must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father's death. (From Groundwood Books Ltd)