The Barren Grounds Video Review
Updated: Oct 15
Book Info: The Barren Grounds
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Genre: Fantasy & Magic/Middle Grade
Book Info: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.
Series Overview: This series reflects stories of the sky and the constellations held within its great canvas. The word “misewa” is Cree for “all that is”—elders say that what is above is mirrored below, and this is the connection we have with misewa.
DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Beatrice Mosionier Indigenous Writer of the Year Award and the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. His books include When We Were Alone (winner of the Governor General’s Award, a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and a McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People); Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award, Graphic Novel category); the YA novel Strangers (recipient of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction); and Monsters (a McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People). Through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, Robertson educates as well as entertains, reflecting Indigenous cultures, histories and communities while illuminating many contemporary issues. David A. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.