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David A. Robertson releases two new books this season

Friday, Sep 18, 2020 at 5:36pm

It's been a busy year for Winnipeg author David A. Robertson, who sees two of his books published only a week apart.

In The Barren Grounds we dive into a new epic middle grade fantasy series based on traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations, and in Black Water we follow the author's deeply personal journey of revisiting the past to not only heal old wounds but to discover a new future.

We hope you'll join us Thursday, September 24, 2020 for the virtual launch of Black Water. For more details on that event, please see this page.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, New Releases

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The Barren Grounds

- by David A. Robertson

Children's hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything -- including them.

Black Water

- by David A. Robertson

Hardcover $32.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $29.69

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year
A Quill & Quire Book of the Year
A Maclean's 20 Books You Need to Read this Winter

"An instant classic that demands to be read with your heart open and with a perspective widened to allow in a whole new understanding of family, identity, and love." --Cherie Dimaline

A son who grew up away from his Indigenous culture takes his Cree father on a trip to their family's trapline, and finds that revisiting the past not only heals old wounds but creates a new future.


The son of a Cree father and a non-Indigenous mother, David A. Robertson was raised with virtually no knowledge or understanding of his family's Indigenous roots. His father, Don, spent his early childhood on a  trapline in the bush northeast of Norway House, Manitoba, where his first teach was the land. When his family was moved permanently to a nearby reserve, Don was not permitted to speak Cree at school unless in secret with his friends and lost the knowledge he had been gifted while living on his trapline. His mother, Beverly, grew up in a small Manitoba town with not a single Indigenous family in it. Then Don arrived, the new United Church minister, and they fell in love. 

Structured around a father-son journey to the northern trapline where Robertson and his father will reclaim their connection to the land, Black Water is the story of another journey: a young man seeking to understand his father's story, to come to terms with his lifelong experience with anxiety, and to finally piece together his own blood memory, the parts of his identity that are woven into the fabric of his DNA.