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Surviving the City

paperback

Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up Indigenous in the city. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick to care for her, the threat of a group home looms, and Dez disappears. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?

A contemporary graphic novel for teens about Indigenous young women facing heart-wrenching decisions and the anguish of missing loved ones.

Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape—they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?

Mew York Times-bestselling author Tasha Spillett (she/her/hers) draws her strength from both her Inninew and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is a celebrated Afro-Indigenous educator, poet, and emerging scholar. Tasha is most heart-tied to contributing to community-led work that centres on land and water defence, and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Her books include the award-winning graphic novel series Surviving the City and the celebrated children's book, I Sang You Down From the Stars. Tasha is currently working on her PhD in Education through the University of Saskatchewan, where she holds a Vanier Canada Award


Natasha Donovan (she/her/hers) is a Métis illustrator originally from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her sequential work has been published in This Place: 150 Years RetoldWonderful Women of History, and Thomas King's graphic novel Borders. She is the illustrator of the award-winning Surviving the City graphic novel series and Mothers of Xsan children's book series, as well as Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer. She currently lives by the Nooksack River in Washington State.

Since 1998, Donovan Yaciuk (he/him/his) has done colouring work on books published by Marvel, DC, Dark Horse comics, and HighWater Press including the A Girl Called Echo and The Reckoner Rises series, as well as select stories in This Place: 150 Years Retold. Donovan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and began his career as a part of the legendary, now-defunct Digital Chameleon colouring studio. He lives in Winnipeg, MB Canada, with his wife and two daughters.

A] haunting graphic novel... debut author Spillett and Donovan... present a story of girls growing up with the historical legacy of Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people, particularly women and girls.

-Publishers Weekly
Engrossing... [this story] remains a tribute to the missing and murdered and a clarion call to everyone else. -Kirkus Reviews

Centering the strong hearts of Indigenous women and girls and shattering racist assumptions, Surviving the City is a beautiful, uncompromising honour song to those of us that not only survive the urban, but navigate through it with the courage of our Ancestors.

-Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost
Selected for 2020 Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers -American Library Association (ALA) Selected as an AIYLA Young Adult Honor Book -American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA)




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