Books·Canadian

Walking in Two Worlds

A YA novel by Wab Kinew.

Wab Kinew

Bugz is caught between two worlds. In the real world, she's a shy and self-conscious Indigenous teen who faces the stresses of teenage angst and life on the Rez. But in the virtual world, her alter ego is not just confident but dominant in a massively multiplayer video game universe.

Feng is a teen boy who has been sent from China to live with his aunt, a doctor on the Rez, after his online activity suggests he may be developing extremist sympathies. Meeting each other in real life, as well as in the virtual world, Bugz and Feng immediately relate to each other as outsiders and as avid gamers. And as their connection is strengthened through their virtual adventures, they find that they have much in common in the real world, too: both must decide what to do in the face of temptations and pitfalls, and both must grapple with the impacts of family challenges and community trauma.

But betrayal threatens everything Bugz has built in the virtual world, as well as her relationships in the real world, and it will take all her newfound strength to restore her friendship with Feng and reconcile the parallel aspects of her life: the traditional and the mainstream, the east and the west, the real and the virtual. (From Penguin Teen Canada)

Wab Kinew is the leader of Manitoba's New Democratic Party. Prior to his career in politics, Kinew was a hip hop musician and broadcaster, hosting the CBC series 8th Fire and Canada Reads in 2015. As a panellist on CBC's battle of the books, Kinew won the 2014 edition for his defence of Joseph Boyden's The Orenda.

Kinew is the author of two books: The Reason You Walka memoir about mending his relationship with his father before his death, and Go Show the Worlda children's picture book about Indigenous heroes throughout history.

Go Show the World is on the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award shortlist for young people's literature — illustrated books. Kinew lives in Winnipeg.

Interviews with Wab Kinew

Broadcaster, hip-hop artist and Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew spoke with Tom Power live on the air about his first work of fiction, Walking in Two Worlds. It's a young adult novel that tells the story of an Indigenous teen named Bugz who leads a double life. In the real world she's an ordinary kid, but in the virtual video game world she's a superstar with millions of followers. 18:29

Books by Wab Kinew

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