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Our September Author of the Month: DAVID A. ROBERTSON

Thursday, Sep 01, 2022 at 2:49pm

DAVID A. ROBERTSON, a writer and freelance journalist, is the recipient of the Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award. His memoir, Black Water, won the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction. His middle-grade fantasy series, the Misewa Saga, includes the #1 national bestseller The Barren Grounds. He won the Governor General’s Literary Award for the illustrated books On the Trapline and When We Were Alone. Robertson is also the writer and host of the award-winning podcast Kiwew. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and lives in Winnipeg.

The Theory of Crows is his first novel for adults. Deep in the night, Matthew paces the house, unable to rest. Though his sixteen-year-old daughter, Holly, lies sleeping on the other side of the bedroom door, she is light years away from him. How can he bridge the gap between them when he can’t shake the emptiness he feels inside? Holly knows her father is drifting further from her; what she doesn’t understand is why. Could it be her fault that he seems intent on throwing everything away, including their relationship? A poignant and evocative novel about the bonds of family and the gifts offered by the land.

Join us for the launch of The Theory of Crows on Wednesday, September 14 at 7:00 PM CDT! The event will be hosted live in our Winnipeg Grant Park bookstore and also available as a simultaneous YouTube stream with live chat. For more details see this page.

Categories: SciFi & Fantasy, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

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The Theory of Crows

- by David A. Robertson

Trade paperback $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

A poignant and evocative novel about the bonds of family and the gifts offered by the land

When a troubled father and his estranged teenage daughter head out onto the land in search of the family trapline, they find their way back to themselves, and to each other

Deep in the night, Matthew paces the house, unable to rest. Though his sixteen-year-old daughter, Holly, lies sleeping on the other side of the bedroom door, she is light years away from him. How can he bridge the gap between them when he can't shake the emptiness he feels inside? Holly knows her father is drifting further from her; what she doesn't understand is why. Could it be her fault that he seems intent on throwing everything away, including their relationship?

Following a devastating tragedy, Matthew and Holly head out onto the land in search of a long-lost cabin on the family trapline, miles from the Cree community they once called home. But each of them is searching for something more than a place. Matthew hopes to reconnect with the father he has just lost; Holly goes with him because she knows the father she is afraid of losing won't be able to walk away.

When things go wrong during the journey, they find they have only each other to turn to for support. What happens to father and daughter on the land will test them, and eventually heal them, in ways they never thought possible.

Black Water

- by David A. Robertson

Trade paperback $19.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.99

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year
A Quill & Quire Book of the Year
A CBC Books Nonfiction 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

In this bestselling memoir, a son who grew up away from his Indigenous culture takes his Cree father on a trip to the family 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 white mother, David A. Robertson grew up with virtually no awareness of his Indigenous roots. His father, Dulas--or Don, as he became known--lived on the trapline in the bush in Manitoba, only to be transplanted permanently to a house on the reserve, where he couldn't speak his language, Swampy Cree, in school with his friends unless in secret. David's mother, Beverly, grew up in a small Manitoba town that had no Indigenous people until Don arrived as the new United Church minister. They married and had three sons, whom they raised unconnected to their Indigenous history.

David grew up without his father's teachings or any knowledge of his early experiences. All he had was "blood memory": the pieces of his identity ingrained in the fabric of his DNA, pieces that he has spent a lifetime putting together. It has been the journey of a young man becoming closer to who he is, who his father is and who they are together, culminating in a trip back to the trapline to reclaim their connection to the land.

Black Water is a memoir about intergenerational trauma and healing, about connection and about how Don's life informed David's own. Facing up to a story nearly erased by the designs of history, father and son journey together back to the trapline at Black Water and through the past to create a new future.  

The Stone Child

- by David A. Robertson

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

It's a race against time to save Eli, in this third book in the award-winning, Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series. 

After discovering a near-lifeless Eli at the base of the Great Tree, Morgan knows she doesn't have much time to save him. And it will mean asking for help -- from friends old and new. Racing against the clock, and with Arik and Emily at her side, Morgan sets off to follow the trail away from the Great Tree to find Eli's soul before it's too late. As they journey deep into the northern woods, a place they've been warned never to enter, they face new challenges and life-threatening attacks from strange and horrifying creatures. But a surprise ally comes to their aid, and Morgan finds the strength to focus on what's most important: saving her brother's life. 

On the Trapline

- by David A. Robertson

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

A picture book celebrating Indigenous culture and traditions. The Governor General Award--winning team behind When We Were Alone shares a story that honors our connections to our past and our grandfathers and fathers.

A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, "Is this your trapline?" Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago -- a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child's wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.

When We Were Alone

- by David Alex Robertson

Children's hardcover $19.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.96

Winner of the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award in the Young People's Literature (Illustrated Books) category and winner 2017 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award: Younger Category When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother's garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength. Also available in a bilingual Swampy Cree/English edition.

The Barren Grounds

- by David A. Robertson

Children's paperback $12.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $11.69

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.

The Great Bear

- by David A. Robertson

Children's paperback $12.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $11.69

In this second book in the Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series, Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, travelling back in time.

Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?