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Visions of the Crow

By Wanda John-Kehewin
Illustrated by nicole marie burton & Kielamel Sibal
Series: Dreams
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Young Adult Fiction, Coming of Age, Aboriginal & Indigenous, Mental Illness, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Spirituality and Ceremony, Authentic Indigenous History, Contemporary Setting, Diverse and Inclusive Representation, Identity, Social Justice, Discrimination, Impacts of Colonization and Colonialism, Prejudice and Racism, Residential Schools
Cultures & Peoples: Cree
Indigenous Languages: Cree, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 12–18
Grade: 8–12
Reading Level: Lexile® Framework for Reading: HL530L
Paperback : 9781774920459, 80 pages, April 2023
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781774920565, 80 pages, May 2023
Ebook (PDF) : 9781774920572, 80 pages, May 2023

A new girl at school. A mysterious crow. Weird visions he can’t explain. Grade 12 just got a lot more complicated for Damon Quinn…


“Your ancestors have called us to help you.”

“I think y'all have the wrong number.”

Damon Quinn just wants to get through his senior year unscathed. His mom struggles with alcohol and is barely coping with the day-to-day. Marcus and his cronies at school are forever causing Damon trouble. The new girl, Journey, won't mind her own business. To make matters worse, now a mysterious crow is following him everywhere. After he is seized by a waking dream in the middle of a busy street, Damon is forced to confront his mom with some hard questions: Why haven't I met my dad? Where did we come from? Who am I?

Damon must look within himself, mend the bond with his mother, and rely on new friends to find the answers he so desperately needs. Travelling through time and space, Damon will have to go back before he can move forward.


  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards 2024


Dreams: Visions of the Crow is an honest exploration on how the journey forward often begins through an understanding of the past. Damon’s particular challenges shine an important light on past scars that still need to be healed. There’s a beautiful message of breaking the cycle of trauma with patience, empathy and perseverance.

Brenda Hickey, Cartoonist, My Little Pony, Butterfly House

Highly recommend—I read this book in one sitting! In Visions of the Crow, Wanda John-Kehewin and nicole marie burton have created an immersive world, full of pain and struggle, but also love, friendship, and beauty. And the characters living in that world are complex and compelling—I just had to find out what happened to them.

Sarah Leavitt, cartoonist and comics educator

This graphic tale of intersection of the day-to-day, gritty real world and the sometimes intrusive, overwhelming, and hard-to-deal-with vision world is beautifully handled. Fantastic interconnectedness of the various levels of reality explored in the book—consciousness, spirit, family, society, history—with a hopefulness for the future.

Ian Perry, Educator

John-Kehewin hopes that Indigenous youth and adult readers will draw from Damon’s spiritual journey. As a former employee with the Ministry of Children and Families, John-Kehewin is aware that although Indigenous youth and children may have their physical needs met, they don’t often have their emotional and spiritual needs met. She hopes Dreams: Visions of the Crow will help with that.

For non-Indigenous readers, she wants them to go beyond the stereotypes and understand that Damon’s mother’s alcoholism is “the residual effects of the residential schools and history itself."

Shari Narine,

A vibrant and awe-inspiring journey of self-discovery....Definitely a series to watch [that] will be a great help for teens to understand the...history and culture of the Canadian [First Peoples] and their struggles today.

Grace Rosa, NY Public Library

An important story.

Kirkus Review

[An] intriguing coming-of-age story. Recommended.

Ann Ketcheson, CM Association

This story, based on the experiences of the author, examines how Indigenous cultural connection can be a pathway towards healing from the lasting impacts of residential schools and intergenerational trauma.

49th Kids, Top Grade CanLit for the Classroom

A graphic novel recommended for teens interested in stories about social justice and the importance of family roots.

Andrea Lipinski, School Library Journal

Tight prose links Wanda John-Kehewin’s poetry background to [this] graphic novel for young people. It is a powerful story that proves knowing ourselves means understanding where we came from. burton’s illustrations transport the reader into Damon’s world. The contrast between the dull, dreary colours of Damon’s everyday life and the vivid, colourful realm of his dreams in particular, highlight the healing power of learning from history.

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