A Holiday Gift Guide for the Readers on Your List

Around the world, holiday shopping—and holiday celebrations—may look a bit different this year. Books are a perfect gift to give from afar, and our titles are available to order online, from the comfort of your home. We have something for all the readers on your list—and a few things you might want for yourself! All of these books are available directly from our website as well as from your favourite local bookstore. 

In this holiday gift guide, you’ll find 

To make sure your books arrive in time for the holidays (December 25), keep these dates in mind when ordering from our website: 

Shipping Location Last Order Date

YK, NWT, NU – Monday, December 7, 2020

NL, SK, BC – Monday, December 14, 2020

AB, MB, PEI, NB, NS – Wednesday, December 16, 2020

ON, MontrealFriday, December 18, 2020

Greater Toronto – Monday, December 21, 2020

And make sure to subscribe to our enewsletter to receive information about special offers, including a deal for Cyber Monday!

 

Books for Kids (Ages 4–12)

Ispík kákí péyakoyak/When We Were Alone (Bilingual Swampy Cree/English Edition)

Written by: David A. Robertson
Illustrated by: Julie Flett
Translated by: Alderick Leask
Ages: 4 to 8
Themes: empowerment, resistance, perseverance, culture and traditions, importance of family, colonialism
Perfect gift for: Swampy Cree speakers and learners, kids interested in Cree culture, those interested in history

An empowering story of resistance that gently introduces children to the history of residential schools in Canada. 

In When We Were Alone, a young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. As she asks questions, her grandmother tells her about her experiences in a residential school.

The bilingual edition of this Governor General’s Award–winning book features the text in Swampy Cree syllabics and Roman orthography, as well as the original English. 

Order your copy here.

Find related activities for both families and school communities in the free parent/teacher guide.

Siha Tooskin Knows Series

Written by: Charlene Bearhead and Wilson Bearhead
Illustrated by: Chloe Bluebird Mustooch
Ages: 9 to 11
Themes: values, Nakota culture, sharing culture, emotional intelligence
Perfect gift for: kids interested in Nakota culture, families with new babies, boys with braids, powwow enthusiasts

Paul Wahasaypa (aka Siha Tooskin) is a young Nakota boy living in a modern, urban community. He is guided by the knowledge and traditions of his family, his people, and his ancestors. Experience the spirit of love and community alongside this 11-year boy and his Indgenous relations.

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Gifts of His People, Paul learns about the origins of many modern conveniences and inventions. There’s so much to learn about the earliest forms of technology, travel, medicine, and food from right here on Turtle Island! 

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Sacred Eagle Feather, Paul’s Mitoshin explains the teachings about where eagle feathers come from and why they are so sacred.

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Strength of His Hair, Paul is nervous about starting at a new school. Mitoshin reminds him how strength of character can be found in the strength of his hair. Perfect for boys with braids!

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Catcher of Dreams, Paul imagines the future of a new baby sister and listens to Mugoshin’s teachings about dream catchers.

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life, Paul learns how strength, generosity, kindness, and humility are all shown to us by grandfather rocks, towering trees, four-legged ones, and winged ones.

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Best Medicine, Paul isn’t feeling well, and he learns that there are answers for him from both the healing practices of his people and from Western medicine.

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Offering of Tobacco, Paul knows it is important to show honour and appreciation when taking plants from the earth or knowledge from a learned person. Join Paul and his teacher Mrs. Baxter as they learn about the protocol of offering tobacco. 

In Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance, Paul has invited his friend, Jeff, to his first-ever powwow! Follow along as Jeff learns all about the dances and their beautiful traditions.

Order all eight books as a set and save! 

Find related activities for both families and school communities in the free education guide.

Mothers of Xsan Series

Written by: Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson)
Illustrated by: Natasha Donovan
Ages: 9 to 12
Themes: life cycles, ecosystems, sustainability, Gitxsan culture
Perfect gift for: nature lovers, kids interested in Gitxsan culture, kids interested in science

The Mothers of Xsan series brings science to life with striking illustrations and lyrical language. With traditional Gitxsan formline art and language woven together in verse, these stories bring the poetry of the Xsan river valley ecosystem into your home. 

Follow each Mother as she teaches her young what they need to survive. 

The Sockeye Mother explores the life cycle of a sockeye salmon. 

The Grizzly Mother follows a mother bear and her two cubs from birth to adulthood.

The Eagle Mother shows how bald eagles enrich their entire ecosystem.

Watch for The Frog Mother and The Wolf Mother, coming in 2021!

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanaw (The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak, Bk. 1)

Written by: William Dumas
Illustrated by: Leonard Paul
Ages: 11 to 13
Themes: coming of age, Rocky Cree culture, rites of passage
Perfect gift for: history lovers, kids interested in Cree culture, Manitoba classrooms

Out of an important archaeological discovery comes this unique story about a week in the life of Pīsim, a young Cree woman who lived in the mid-1600s. In the story, created by renowned storyteller William Dumas, Pīsim begins to recognize her miskanaw—the path for her life—and to develop her gifts for fulfilling that path. Brought to life by the rich imagery of Mi’kmaw artist Leonard Paul, the story is accompanied by sidebars on Rocky Cree language and culture, archaeology and history, maps, songs, and more.

Order your copy here. 

Find related activities for kids in the free teacher guide and accompanying iOS app, which includes a Cree narration of the story read by an Elder.

Books for Teens (Ages 12–18)

A Girl Called Echo Series

Written by: Katherena Vermette
Illustrated by: Scott B. Henderson
Colour by: Donovan Yaciuk
Ages: 11 to 15
Themes: resistance, empowerment, identity, intergenerational trauma, history, racism, colonialism, social justice, strong female character, family, coming of age
Perfect gift for: history buffs, comic readers, tweens, people interested in Métis history and culture, young adults

Métis teenager Echo Desjardins is struggling to adjust to a new school and a new home while in foster care. When an ordinary day in history class turns extraordinary, Echo’s life will never be the same. Follow Echo as she experiences pivotal events from Métis history, gains new perspectives about where she came from, and imagines what the future might hold.

In Pemmican Wars, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie. She visits a Métis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican Wars.

In Red River Resistance, Echo is transported to the banks of the Red River in the summer of 1869. All is not well in the territory, as Canadian surveyors have arrived and Métis families, who have lived there for generations, are losing access to their land. As the Resistance takes hold, Echo fears for her friends and the future of her people in the Red River Valley.

In Northwest Resistance, Echo travels to 1885. The bison are gone, settlers from the East are arriving daily, and the Métis and First Nations of the Northwest face hunger and uncertainty as their traditional way of life is threatened. The Canadian government has ignored their petitions, but hope rises when Louis Riel returns to help. 

Watch for the final volume, Road Allowance Era, coming in 2021!

I Will See You Again

Written & illustrated by: Lisa Boivin
Ages: 12+
Themes: grief, healing, Dene culture, familial love
Perfect gift for: art lovers, families experiencing grief, youth interested in Dene culture

Presenting “a fresh understanding of death and grief” (Publishers Weekly), this book is a breathtaking journey through art, loss, and love from interdisciplinary artist and bioethicist Lisa Boivin.

When the author learns of the death of her brother overseas, she embarks on a journey to bring him home. Through memories and dreams of all they shared together, and through her Dene traditions, she finds comfort and strength. 

Find related activities and lesson plans in the free reader’s guide for teachers and families. 

Get your copy of this lyrical book in time for the holidays.

Surviving the City Series

Written by: Tasha Spillett
Illustrated by: Natasha Donovan
Ages: 12 to 18
Themes: coming of age; friendship; identity; issues; gender roles; Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People; young love; relationships; community; kinship; grief
Perfect gift for: tweens, young women, LGBTQ2S+ youth\

A contemporary graphic novel series exploring the lives of two young women. Follow best friends Dez and Miikwan as they navigate the challenges of growing up Indigenous in an urban landscape.

In Surviving the City, Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick to care for her. 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?

In From the Roots Up, Dez is grieving, living in a group home, and coming into her identity as a Two-Spirit person. Miikwan and Elder Geraldine don’t really understand what Dez is going through. Will Dez be comfortable expressing her full identity? And will her community relearn the teachings and overcome prejudice to celebrate her for who she is?

Find related activities and lesson plans in the teacher guide, which includes curriculum correlations and lesson plans for Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba. 

The Reckoner Trilogy

Written by: David A. Robertson
Ages: 12 to 18
Themes: mental health, coming of age
Perfect gift for: superhero fans, mystery readers

Cole Harper is the hero Wounded Sky First Nation needs. In this page-turning trilogy, Cole and his friends must fight against the mysterious evils that threaten their community. 

In Strangers, Cole travels home to find his community in chaos: a series of shocking murders, a mysterious illness ravaging the residents, and reemerging questions about Cole’s role in the tragedy that drove him away 10 years ago. Will he find the answers in time to save his community?

In Monsters, a creature lurks in the shadows of Blackwood Forest, the health clinic is on lockdown by a mysterious organization, and long-held secrets threaten to bubble to the surface. Can Cole learn the truth about his father’s death?

In Ghosts, Cole Harper is dead. Reynold McCabe is alive and free. Mihko Laboratories has reopened the research facility and is working to manufacture and weaponize the illness that previously plagued Wounded Sky. People are missing. The community has been quarantined. What deal did Eva strike with Choch? Who will defeat Reynold and Mihko? Time is running out.

With a brilliant portrayal of what it’s like to live with an anxiety disorder, this is a superhero origin story like nothing you’ve read before.

The Reckoner Rises

Written by: David A. Robertson
Illustrated by: Scott B. Henderson
Colour by: Donovan Yaciuk
Ages: 15 to 18
Themes: mental health, coming of age, culture
Perfect gift for: superhero fans, comic book readers, mystery lovers

Acclaimed writer, David A. Robertson, delivers suspense, adventure, and humour in this stunningly illustrated graphic novel continuation of The Reckoner trilogy.

In Breakdown, Cole and Eva arrive in Winnipeg, the headquarters of Mihko Laboratories. They are intent on destroying the company once and for all, but their plans are thwarted when a new threat surfaces. When Cole becomes mired in terrifying visions, Eva must harness her newly discovered powers to investigate Mihko without him. Are Cole’s visions just troubled dreams or are they leading him to a horrible truth?

Watch for Version Control, coming in 2022.

This Place: 150 Years Retold

Foreword by: Alicia Elliott
Written by: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, David A. Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Jen Storm, Richard Van Camp, Katherena Vermette, Chelsea Vowel
Illustrated by: Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles, GMB Chomichuk, Natasha Donovan, Scott B. Henderson, Ryan Howe, Andrew Lodwick, Jen Storm
Colour by: Scott A. Ford, Donovan Yaciuk
Ages: 15+
Themes: resistance, empowerment, activism, social justice, colonialism, culture and traditions, racism
Perfect gift for: graphic novel readers, comic lovers, history buffs

Soon to be a CBC podcast, hosted by Rosanna Deerchild!

This Place: 150 Years Retold is a groundbreaking graphic novel anthology that re-frames Canada’s history, present, and future through the perspectives of Indigenous writers. Through the anthology’s 10 beautifully illustrated stories,  readers will encounter Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and even time travel.

Gain a new perspective on the past 150 years—and beyond—by ordering your copy today.

Find related activities and lesson plans in the accompanying teacher guide, with curriculum correlations for Manitoba, Ontario, and British Columbia.

Perception: A Photo Series

Photo Series Created by: KC Adams
Foreword by: Katherena Vermette
Critical Essay by: Cathy Mattes
Ages: 16+
Themes: social justice, empowerment, stereotypes, bias, identity
Perfect gift for: art lovers, coffee-table book readers, teens and adults interested in social justice 

From award-winning artist KC Adams comes a mash-up of social action art and flash biography that compels readers to look, then look again.

After a racist, high-profile social media post surfaced in artist KC Adams’s home city, she decided to challenge people to “look, then look again” at Indigenous people in Winnipeg. This brilliant collection of portraits was first displayed on billboards, buildings, and bus shelters around the city. Each image aims to replace dehumanizing assumptions with positive truths about the subjects’ identities.

Get the book in time for the holidays.

Find related activities and lesson plans in the free teacher guide.

 

Books for Adults

The Evolution of Alice (Reissued Edition)

Written by: David A. Robertson
Foreword by: Shelagh Rogers
Themes: community, grief, healing, friendship, loss of a child
Perfect gift for: readers of women’s fiction, short story lovers

Peopled with unforgettable characters and told from multiple points of view, this is a novel where spirits are alive, forgiveness is possible, and love is the only thing that matters.

Alice is a single mother raising her three young daughters on the rez where she grew up. Life has never been easy, but she’s managed to get by with the support of her best friend, Gideon, and her family. When an unthinkable loss occurs, Alice is forced to confront truths that will challenge her belief in herself and the world she thought she knew.

The Evolution of Alice is the kaleidoscopic story of one woman’s place within the web of community.

Reissued with a new story by David A. Robertson and foreword by Shelagh Rogers!

Get your copy of the new edition today.

One Without the Other: Stories of Unity Through Diversity and Inclusion

Written by: Shelley Moore
Topics: inclusion, inclusive education, bias, differentiation, diversity, universal design for learning
Perfect gift for: teachers, educational assistants, school administrators, aspiring educators, special ed teachers, resource teachers, parents of children with disabilities

In One Without the Other: Stories of Unity Through Diversity and Inclusion, Shelley Moore explores the changing landscape of inclusive education. 

Presented through real stories from her own classroom experience, this passionate and creative educator tackles such things as inclusion as a philosophy and practice, the difference between integration and inclusion, and how inclusion can work with a variety of students and abilities. Explorations of differentiation, the role of special education teachers and others, and universal design for learning all illustrate the evolving discussion on special education and teaching to all learners. ]

Get this book for the teacher on your list.

Watch for Shelley’s second book, All for One: Designing Individual Education Plans for Inclusive Classrooms, coming in 2021!

Catch a Fire: Fuelling Inquiry and Passion Through Project-Based Learning 

Edited by: Matt Henderson
Topics: project-based learning, inquiry, collaboration
Perfect gift for: teachers, educational assistants, school administrators, aspiring educators, parents who are homeschooling

This book will inspire, challenge, and engage you—and transform your teaching and learning.

Each chapter in this book is written by a different educator or team about their experiences with project-based learning, both in and out of the classroom. They reflect not only on the how of project-based learning, but more importantly, on the what and the why. They offer insight into how connecting with learners, honouring their experiences, and promoting deep and rich questioning can be the path to powerful projects and learning. Their writing and thinking is saturated with empathy, expertise, a desire to improve their practice, and an acknowledgment of the need to collaborate.

Get your copy in time for the holidays.

Grand Conversations, Thoughtful Responses: A Unique Approach to Literature Circles (2nd Edition)

Written by: Faye Brownlie
Topics: literacy, literature circles, choosing books for students, teaching strategies for reading and writing
Perfect gift for: teachers, educational assistants, school administrators, aspiring educators, reading tutors, parents who are homeschooling

Faye Brownlie’s Say Something strategy will encourage your students to have not only grand conversations, but also thoughtful responses.

Grand Conversations, Thoughtful Responses is built upon the premise that all students can become active, independent, thoughtful readers. The structures and strategies in this book are proven to help students develop confidence and competence in their reading. Student engagement with text soars through participation in grand conversations with peers and reflecting on reading with thoughtful, written responses. This unique approach includes:

  • student choice in books
  • students reading at their own pace, thus creating flexible groups
  • literature circles where students discuss the shared text they are reading
  • strategies for teaching written response
  • strategies for co-creating assessment criteria
  • additional activities to develop and deepen comprehension
  • book lists

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out our catalogues for more ideas, as well as information about reading and grade level for each book.

Portage & Main Press catalogue (books for teachers, education)

HighWater Press catalogue (books for kids, teens, and adults by Indigenous authors)