Friday, 7 February 2020

The Case of Windy Lake

The Case of Windy Lake
The Case of Windy Lake
By Michael Hutchinson

Sam, Otter, Atim and Chickadee live on the Windy Lake First Nation.  Although they are just kids, these four cousins love to solve mysteries.  They’ve been nicknamed The Mighty Muskrats for their intelligence and tenacity.

When an archeologist visits their community, many of the people are worried he will try to dig up some of their sacred sites.  But when he disappears in the bush, the Mighty Muskrats jump into action, hoping to solve the mystery despite the involvement of the local police and the RCMP.  Time is running out as the archeologist spends many days alone in the bush.

Meanwhile, the Muskrats’ older cousin Denice chains herself to a dock to protest a local mine that threatens the environment.  The cousins’ grandpa says that she is on a vision quest, and the Muskrats try to support her through her ordeal.  But her activism is preventing work from getting done, and the mine manager, Mr. Makowski, is furious.

All of this takes place against a backdrop of a First Nations community and culture where people respect the land and the Elders.  Will the Muskrats be able to solve the mystery and help find the missing archeologist?

The Case of Windy Lake reminds me of classic children’s mysteries like the Famous Five and Nancy Drew, but with an indigenous twist!

This is the first book in the Mighty Muskrats series.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

El Deafo

El Deafo - Bell, Cece
El Deafo
By Cece Bell

At age four, Cece loses her hearing and must start wearing hearing aids.  The hearing aids help, but Cece must still learn to lip read in order to understand what people are saying.  Much of the time she struggles to make sense of what's going on.  This makes school and friendships challenging.

Cece just wants to be like everyone else and in many ways, she is.  She goes to sleepovers, goofs off at school and develops a crush on Mike Miller.  But Cece also has to learn to become comfortable with her own deafness.

At school, Cece must wear special hearing aids while her teachers wear a microphone.  Cece discovers that she can hear her teachers clearly while they wear that microphone, no matter where they are in the school.  She often hears her teacher gossiping in the staff room and going to the bathroom.  Her ability to hear these things seems like a superpower to her, and soon Cece gives herself the superhero name El Deafo.

When Cece’s classmates learn about this power, she really becomes popular.  Now the students can have a party every time their teacher leaves because Cece can always warn them when she’s coming back!

El Deafo is a heartwarming graphic novel that celebrates what it’s like to be a little different.