Wenjack by JOSEPH BOYDENWenjack by JOSEPH BOYDENsticker-burst

Wenjack

byJOSEPH BOYDEN

Paperback | October 18, 2016

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Shortlisted for the 2017 OLSN Northern Lit Award

An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. Along the way he's followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from.

Written by Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author Joseph Boyden and beautifully illustrated by acclaimed artist Kent Monkman, Wenjack is a powerful and poignant look into the world of a residential school runaway trying to find his way home.
JOSEPH BOYDEN's first novel, Three Day Road, was selected for the Today Show Book Club, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award, and the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. His second novel, Through Bl...
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Title:WenjackFormat:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 6.2 × 4.5 × 0.35 inPublished:October 18, 2016Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0735233381

ISBN - 13:9780735233386

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poignant read! Although this book is small and short, it is moving nonetheless. The prose sometimes moves like poetry, and each little chapter is a beautiful piece of the whole. And I just love the illustrations starting each chapter!
Date published: 2017-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful A harrowing, but necessary Canadian story. Wonderfully written.
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very spritual I loved it. It was so touching and so spiritual.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written A much-needed look into Canada's deplorable track record on Indigenous issues, from the perspective of a boy attending/escaping from residential school
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poetic Prose Wenjack is a beautifully written, powerful, and heartbreaking little novel.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely beautiful. Heartbreaking and so, so beautifully done.
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good Well written and heartbreaking.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It Enjoyed every moment reading this book
Date published: 2017-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from brilliant great pick to read even though it's sad
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sad but a Must Read Brilliantly written and although a tragic and painful story, one every Canadian should read.
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I saw this in my teacher's office and I picked it up and read it all in one sitting. I went and bought myself a copy that night
Date published: 2017-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Beautiful Remembrance My heart goes out to Chanie Wenjack and all the others who experienced the loneliness and fear of the Residential School system. The mysticism in this story warmed my heart. Chanie wasn't alone through his ordeal of finding his way home. I truly hope that Chanie had the hearts of the spirits with him. This story can be seen on many levels: Chanie Wenjack, the frightened, hungry, scared 12-year old who tried to find his way home. Chanie Wenjack, the boy who's plight caused a nation to look at what they are doing to a People and to start making changes for the betterment of the People. Chanie Wenjack, the child who stands as a symbol for all those who suffered before and after him until the horror was finally ended.
Date published: 2017-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply brilliant. Another amazing piece of literature from Joseph Boyden. Children of all ages were mesmerized by the writing. I had students asking for copies of the book to keep.
Date published: 2017-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it Another Bowden masterpiece
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You really should read this I read Wenjack by one of my favourite authors, Joseph Boyden. It's an extremely short read - you could finish it in an hour, but I recommend taking 2: let it sink in. It's disturbing, revealing, and thought-provoking. And it's grippingly well written, as one would expect by this man.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Beginning This short book that I read in one sitting is a great little opening of a lesson in Canadian history. A must read for everyone and a good gateway to learning more about residential schools, the aboriginals, and most importantly Canada. I'm inspired to learning more in both fiction stories that surround these topics as well as in nonfiction too.
Date published: 2017-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Painful but necessary to read Some stories, however terribly sad, must be told. This one of them. Beautifully written and very painful to read. Those poor, poor children.
Date published: 2017-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Important, well written and heartbreaking. A must read
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An important read A book that every Canadian should read.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding This is a book that we should all read
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Important Read Haunting story that every Canadian should read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What a story! I nice addition to your library.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good read another good one by JB; great story and characters
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Short but sweet great story - too bad it wasn't longer
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful story A powerful story you can easily be read in one sitting. A realistic portrayal of why students ran away from residential schools even when they did not know their destination, and the trials they faced along the way.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great gift Great gift! Couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from decent interesting story and creative perspective
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great book great book and the price is perfect for the gifts too
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from i found it okay i didnt enjoyed it as much
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Great read A must read, enjoyed every moment i spent reading this novel, recommend to all.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend This small book had a profound effect on me. I hope you will read it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good read! Amazing read, enjoyed the novel!
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful A simply and beautifully written piece. I found myself reading and rereading each chapter to better understand the story and the complexities of Boyden's storytelling. 110% worth it.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Important Story This was a great read. It's important that as Canadians, we continue to tell stories like these and not to push them down deep as we have in the past. A beautiful way to bring up a horrible issues.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Beautiful poetry and short stories. I found it to be a really interesting book. I love Joseph Boyden's writing, he really illustrates the Aboriginal culture (even if his personal ancestry is under scrutiny).
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this This book was so vivid I could hear the boy's speaking in my head, only complaint is that I wish it was longer!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling Read Loved every page. Incredible story and meaning behind it
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a must read I bought this book a week ago and I could not take my eyes of the book. I was such a pleasant read and I 100% recommend this book for anyone. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! This is such a great novel, I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Story It was interesting how we got to hear the story through the perspective of the spirits. It told such an important story.
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Important Read It puts reconciliation into perspective.
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from hated this book I didn't enjoy this book. I didn't like the way the story was told and how it kept changing through perspectives every chapter
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tiny book, Big message This book is so tiny in size, but delivers such an important story. It only takes about an hour or so to read, but it leaves a mark on your heart long after.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Teacher must read Every teacher should read this to their students
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wenjack This is a sad but beautiful book.
Date published: 2017-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very critical This book teaches us a lot of magnificent things...
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Important Canadian book A beautifully written and illustrated tribute to a brave child whose story has to be told and read.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Important A short book, but an important read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking... I don't even know how to review this book. It broke me. If you don't know what happened, I beg you to read this story. Even if you know what happened, you need to read this story. My four star rating is only due to the fact that the writing style didn't completely grab me. I loved the use of the Ojibwe language throughout and the narrative style but at times the various perspectives became a little confusing and pulled me out of the story.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heart Breaking This is not a light read in that it the depicts suffering, abuse, and shame of three boys who have run away from a Canadian residential school. It is unique in it's non-human narrators, and use of Ojibwe language. A great read to better understand what being without your culture or your family, being stripped of your heritage, and choosing to perish rather than continue in oppression.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it Very educational. Need more like it. The story captivating and emotional. Great read.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book, but short Like other reviewers said, this is something that should be read in history class. I didn't expect this book to be so short though.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book, emotionally charged Aside from all the controversy surrounding Boyden as an Indigenous person, he is a good author. The storyline is tragic, but filled with spirit animals who look after the main character. It was a quick and good read even if it made me cry.
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Glad I am glad I read the book.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very significant read Joseph Boyden has done it again in this powerful and emotional look on a sad part of Canada's history. I highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from i bought this a month ago and i love it i bought this a month ago and i love it
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick Quick read, very emotional.
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotional Very quick read and filled with emotion
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not bad it was not bad than expected i will recommend this book
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone should read this Very quick read (about an hour) tragic, eye opening and a very important Canadian issue that needs more light shed on it.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick sad read I read this in one sitting, it's just a short 90 page novella. It was very heartbreaking reading it from the point of view of a young child in such a terrible situation. I think it is an important read about a dark time in Canada's history that is not taught enough.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One day read I bought this book, and didn't know what to expect, but I really enjoyed the book. This is a great book to complete in one day.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from such a story I love the way Boyden writes. This is a story that I needed to read. I needed to know what happened to poor Chanie Wenjack. I needed to see this perspective on Canadian History.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must A beautifully written, heartbreaking short story, that taught me about Canadian history. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Required Canadiana A beautiful, sad, heartbreaking short story. Devoured it in one night... based on a true story, so you'll know the outcome but you'll pray for a different outcome - because the reality is heartbreaking. Should be required reading for all canadians. Highly recommend #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartbreaking I read this book before work this morning; it's a very quick read. By the end of the book, I burst into tears and I was really moved long after I put the book down. For such a short book, it has such a powerful and beautiful story. They should have students in high schools read this book as part of their Canadian history curriculum.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good The argument about whether or not he is indigenous takes nothing away from the book
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful book Its short and sweet. A really good light read with a deep meaning
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Absolutely gorgeous. Wonderful little book!
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it. Wonderful book --- bought for my dad, then he let me borrow it. 10/10.
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Minimalist yet heartwrenching Boyden's novels are always filled with complex characters and invested storylines. Wenjack is a break from Boyden's lengthy novels with a simple yet dark story of a young boy who tries to find home again.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is the literature! it is the book canadians should own and read it once in a while. it is very different from what i expected but i was immersed by it.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So interestingly beautiful! This was written in a way that wasn't what I was expecting but was beautiful and intriguing! Heartbreaking and necessary story for everyone, but mostly Canadians. A glimpse into the darker side of our history.
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a good book regardless of the controversy about the author, read it
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great literature it was heart-wrenching, which is what made it so good.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very moving. This is a moving, heartbreaking read. Powerfully and beautifully-written, and a very important read for all Canadians.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it while my heart broke. I almost wanted to stop reading it because I didn't know if my heart could take it.I loved it all,though heartbreaking. Highly recommended and beautifully told..
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Emotional read This book was captivating. Full of many descriptive details it was an emotional and sometimes difficult read considering we all know the outcome.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from not bad only read because of all the hype
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Beautifully written. Incredibly moving and touching story
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Boyden remains awesome very sad and poetic as hell. the simplicity of the language just makes the horror of what happened even more stark.
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Amazingly written book. Read it in a single sitting.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it This is a good book. You need to read!
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Read this book when first came out....good read...couldn't put i down
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Walking and Crying I read this small book while out walking with my dogs. Cried most of the time. Very sad, very beautiful little volume.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful Compelling and poetic, tragic and though-provoking, beautifully illustrated.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick but compelling read. A super quick read that will stay with you long after you have finished. It is heartbreaking in its simplicity and definitely something all Canadians should read.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from pretty good Pretty good read, had some patchy parts, but still good.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good read If you have just a little bit of time, you should read this book. Just one important step on the road to reconciliation with the darker parts of Canadian history.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Every Canadian Should Read This Book An important part of our history that every Canadian should know. This book can be read cover to cover in about an hour. A true, haunting story that must be told. Read it, and pass it on.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Big Story in a Small Book In telling the larger story of Wenjack, Boyden unfolds a painful tale in smaller stories that are in keeping with First Nations traditions.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not for Me I really couldn't get into this book, it was such a struggle that I just gave up. I hate when I read such great reviews about a book and then don't get it.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Was something that will read again! #plumreviews
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A breathtakingly beautiful way to tell a heartbreaking story. Boyden has always has a lyrical, and sparse prose. In this work, he is telling a most difficult true story, but he is doing in such a way as to make the reader feel free of the confines, social and otherwise, inflicted on Wenjack.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good seems like it will be very good
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Run, now, to your local bookseller and purchase this book! Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy this book. Read it. Read it again. Share it. Buy multiple copies to give away. Talk about it. Don't ever let this happen again.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Good intentions are not enough. If you're looking for a message, you'll find it here. If you're searching for meaning beyond yourself: look elsewhere.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from cool i found this so interesting!
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful story This little book tells a big story. I feel that every Canadian should make the time to read this
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and tragic This book is captivating and beautifully heartbreaking. It's a tragic story based on real events. Chanie was a native kid taken from his home and placed in a residential school in the mid 60's (the last residential school was closed in 1996). Boyden weaves Chanie's story by alternating between Chanie and the Manitous (spirits of the forest). While the focus is on his journey and eventual death, Boyden weaves in the reality of residential schools - abuse and cultural genocide. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gret Book! This is a great book, well worth the read!
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Concise, Poetic retelling. Small voice. Loud message. This poetic retelling comes formatted in a booklet (read the details & specs in case you're expecting a novel-sized story) and can be read in under an hour. Telling the story from the perspective of the young boy and from the spirits that watch over him, the reader gets both an outsider and insiders view of the arduous journey and senseless abuse this child endured. The story of Chanie Wenjack has been highlighted this year by Gord Downie, the CBC, in music, art, and now by author Joseph Boyden in this novella. It is a story that should be heard from voices too often muted. I appreciate the author's attempt to see what he has not seen and to pull us into a story that could be told a thousand ways. I only wish we knew more to share, but hopefully Chanie's story will prompt others to write their story of survival and turn our heads as a nation toward reconciliation.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful A slim volume that has a huge message. What a beautiful weaving of a powerful story of tragedy and a powerful story of nature at the same time. This book should be mandatory reading in all Canadian high schools. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read!!! This is a short story that will stay with you forever. Heartbreaking and tragic reminder of the not too distant horrors that occurred in our own country. Should be required reading in schools and beyond.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This book is captivating and beautifully heartbreaking. It's a tragic story based on real events. Chanie was a native kid taken from his home and placed in a residential school in the mid 60's (the last residential school was closed in 1996). Boyden weaves Chanie's story by alternating between Chanie and the Manitous (spirits of the forest). While the focus is on his journey and eventual death, Boyden weaves in the reality of residential schools - abuse and cultural genocide. Also, it's a quick read.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I bought two copies, one to gift and one to read, we both really enjoyed and would recommend.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting and powerful Just a glimpse into what Chanie must have experienced in his last days. The prose is direct, to the point, haunting, and beautiful.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Powerful Story This book, while short, packs a big punch, and takes you on an emotional journey with Chanie on his escape from a residential school. A moving read, and one that I highly recommend for anyone.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from More life could have been breathed into the pages This read was more of a skeleton than a story; more life could have been breathed into the pages to honour the spirit living in-between them.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick Read The book isn't very long so it can be read easily in one sitting. I enjoyed it and recommend others to pick it up and read it.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WANT Would Love to read it! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read. A very thought-provoking Canadian story. It's not a long book (I read the whole thing in one sitting) but it's one you'll want to read again.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Must Read I think that the story of Chanie Wenjack is important for all Canadians to read. His unfortunate death provided momentum into the investigations of why did Canada have residential schools, and what purpose did they really serve.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book! I bought this book an I'm so glad I did!
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it. Love the author, love the book. 10/10
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I live this! This was an amazing book! I love it!
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! So glad I got to read this!
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read Beautiful writing, powerful story.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My top read of 2016 This book was incredibly heartbreaking. Such a powerful story in a short book. This should be mandatory reading for everyone..especially Canadians! I am now purchasing copies as gifts for family and friends.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Important Wenjack is the most important book that I have read in 2016. As a Canadian, I’ve heard about the horrors of Residential Schools, but they weren’t in the school curriculum and always felt like something distant. Wenjack helped to open my eyes to the terrible injustices suffered by so many First Nations children from the 19th C to 1996. Canada is known for being peaceful, and it can be hard to fathom the true evil that is a part of it’s history. From physical, emotional, and sexual abuse to eugenics, Canada’s history is wrought with pain. Boyden takes us on a beautiful journey as he tells us the true story of Chanie, a young boy who ran away from a Residential School only to die in the elements on his journey home. This story is creatively told from the perspective of both Chanie and the creatures of the woods he is walking through. Chanie will stay with me forever – if he were alive to day he would be just a little older than my parents. Wenjack ties in with Gord Downie’s project, The Secret Path. I watched the film when it aired on CBC, and plan to pick up the graphic novel soon as well. I’m thankful to both Boyden and Downie for bringing this story to light in popular culture. Now, reconciliation
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read This is a small book that delivers a huge punch to the gut. Beautifully written and so, so important to read.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astonishing I have now bought several copies as gifts....a must read for all Canadians, young and old. Its simplicity is astonishing...its impact - breathtaking.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from love this! A tragic but important story. Heart-achingly beautiful and a must read for ALL Canadians.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from didn't' enjoy at all very quick read as its a small book and I hated it so I wanted to get it done and over with.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sooo Sad I had the wonderful opportunity to see Borden speak & immediately read his book ,Orenda.Loved it! Bought Wenjack fully knowing the story but cried anyways. It was an easy read .I feel that it is something every Canadian should read.I have already shared it with my teenaged granddaughter & her mother & I intend to encourage as many people as I can to read it!
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from intriguing I feel so sad #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compulsory reading This should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in Canadian history or aboriginal relations and really all Canadians. Masterfully written, devastating and necessary.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking This is a very quick read that draws you in and breaks your heart. It is told through unique viewpoints. I highly recommend for readers of all ages and interests.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read A beautiful book with beautiful delicate illustrations.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Very important story told by a great writer. Everyone should read this!
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An essential book; read along with The Secret Path An imaginative and moving account of the unnecessary death of a little boy trying to reach his home. Thanks to Joseph Boyden in this book, and Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire in The Secret Path, for keeping Chanie Wenjack's memory alive.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent introduction to a difficult subject. I wish this book had been available when I was in school. I felt (at the time) that I had received a progressive education on what it meant to be Canadian and the history of Canada. The subject of Residential schools was never treated with other than the sugar-coated government version that the purpose of these schools was for the good of the children. Joseph Boyden has created a quick read that I think would be suitable for children, middle school age or older. Chanie Wenjack's story brings a personal perspective and voice to the hidden history of Residential schools. The book alternates between Chanie's story and the narrative provided by the unnamed spirits in the forest. Chanie's point of view chapters show the confusion and distress any child would feel presented with removal from their home and family and introduction into a completely alien environment. The addition of the spirits takes the book from a sad moment in time to an introduction into the spiritual meaning of life and death. While the story is heartbreakingly sad, it does end on an appropriate note.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from insightful story Bought this book for our Canadian daughter who teaches in England - I learned so much by reading it I recommended she read it with her 8 year old daughter (Charlie) and the grade 6 class she teaches.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential Canadian Reading This is the most important Canadian book of the year. I don't just mean that in a literary sense either. No, this book is absolutely essential reading for Canadians. In a country where we pride ourselves on our kindness and sense of community, it is of paramount importance that we look upon the abject horror of residential schools. It is important that we as a country know these atrocities so that they will never be committed again, and so that reconciliation can begin. I read Wenjack cover to cover in a single hour-long sitting. When I saw Boyden had a new book on the horizon I knew I'd read it, but I didn't know much about the plot until the weeks leading up to its release. By now I'm sure that most of us have heard Chanie Wenjack's story. It's the true story of a boy who escaped a residential school and attempted to walk to his home in winter, not knowing it was hundreds of miles away. Chanie Wenjack died alone, cold, and far from his family. Boyden opts to use shapeshifting manitous, whose cultural relevance I won't pretend to know, as they take the form of various animals who watch Chanie on his journey through the cold. The chapters bounce between Chanie as POV, then alternate to show Chanie from the perspective of the given form the manitous have taken in that chapter. This is a story, I believe, that supposes you know its ending and takes you on the harrowing journey to its conclusion. While I appreciated the prose--Boyden's pen is as deft as ever-- I'm unable to say that this is a pleasant read due to its content. By bringing Chanie's story to light, Joseph Boyden (along with Gord Downie & Jeff Lemire with Secret Path) gives a voice to the unheard. He does so with language that is rich and evocative, but not challenging. This book was written for those who would read Three Day Road as well as those who haven't touched a book in years. It could be taught in high schools, it could be passed between friends and neighbours, it could be displayed on a bookshelf among the best of Canadian literature. As I read Wenjack, I sipped on a warm beverage in my warm home. Wenjack is a book that makes it possible for one to both be thankful and ashamed of the heat in a single breath.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Short but Powerful A must read for all Canadians! Well written by one of Canada's best authors. Don't let the small size of the book put you off, it's a powerful story.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must-Read Wenjack is incredibly powerful. The book is short, but has more impact than many books twice the length. It's not a celebration of what we, as Canadiansoon hold dear, but a haunting reminder of a part of our history we should never ignore. Arguably the most quintessentiallyrics Canadian book of the year.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Every Canadian Should Read Wenjack As I started to read Wenjack I had this utter feeling of panic. Panic because I instantly knew what the story was about. A few years ago I did a lot of research into the history of Canada and the oppression of the First Nations people. The most sickening part of it all was the horrors of residential schools. Children were taken from their families and moved hundreds of miles away to be "integrated" into white society where awful injustices were done to children. Joseph Boyden tells the story of Chanie "Charlie" Wenjack's time at a residential school and his attempted escape. Stories such as these break our hearts but educate us. I was touched and the prose was beautiful. A short story but more powerful than some of the longest books I've read. I leave you with the knowledge that little boy Wenjack existed in real life. This is a book every Canadian needs to pick up as it will take less than an hour to read but will stay with everyone their whole lives, reminding us to continue to be a caring nation.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Very Important Read A small book with a huge impact. All Canadians should read this book.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Small book with a big impact This is a must read for all Canadians. Would love to see it taught in schools.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good gift Bought as a gift, looked like recipient would enjoy
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Joseph Boyden's slim volume conveys a big story that cannot help but touch the heart.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A powerful story filled with heartbreak Chanie Wenjack's story is not unique, but it is one that needs to be told. Canada's dark past resurfaces in this short story that reminds readers of the horrors that Indigenous children suffered in residential schools. Every Canadian should read this book!
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Quick Read Boyden is great as always.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and full of heartbreak Beautifully written and absolutely heartbreaking. An important read for every Canadian, and a stunning retelling of Chanie Wenjack's tragically avoidable end at the hands of the residential school system.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking A must-read for every Canadian! While we like to think ourselves superior to our southern neighbours, we in fact have our own dark history. I think every classroom should read this book. The book is short and easy enough to be read within a couple hours at most. It is descriptive, haunting, and heartbreaking and reflects a sad part of Canadian history. When I was in school, we did not learn about this chapter in our history but I certainly hope they include it in today's curriculum because it is important that our children know what happened.
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An emotional ride. A timely addition to CanLit as we continue to try and improve our relationship as a nation with our Indigenous population. A mandatory (and short) read for every Canadian.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absorbing tale of a terrible journey I live in Minnesota, I've visited Thunder Bay and the North Shore, been to Winnipeg and years ago my choir came to Kenora. Not until now have I been made aware of the depths of profundity within the trees, the trails of children's tears. Of little Chanie, so determined to go home to his beloved family though he be sick and far away. Of smaller manitous in the service of the Great Spirit, here grieving already over the plight of the doomed child. Mr. Boyden evokes all these nature spirits, and the boy's, which never broke though hunger, thirst and cold were demons without, and in spite of the torments within. The shining pebble eye of a mouse offering, the inevitable embrace of the Mother, the love of the father, the long and terrible walk are all vivid as can be. Read it, know about it. There are thousands upon thousands more that cry up from the profaned yet sacred ground.
Date published: 2016-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart-breakingly important So much emotional weight and societal significance is packed into this novella, and really, only a great master storyteller like Joseph Boyden can capture the nuance of this tragic true story in such succinct ways through the eyes of the creatures who witness Chanie Wenjack's perilous journey.
Date published: 2016-10-09

Read from the Book

Tonight is the night they line us up and then we climb in the water tub, two, or three of us if we’re real skinny, and we have to wash the back of the one in front. Then we get out and Fish Belly rubs each of us with a wet towel. This means tomorrow is prayer day. I can tell which niijii, which friend, ran away from the school this week by the long red marks on his back. Ever a lot of red marks. Ever a lot of friends who ran away this week. But Fish Belly teacher has Fish Belly friends who go out and catch them. We have a secret path, but maybe it’s not so secret anymore. The Fish Bellies are good at catching Indian children.   One day I will run. One day they won’t hurt me anymore.

Editorial Reviews

BESTSELLERShortlisted for the 2017 OLSN Northern Lit Award“A profoundly sensitive writer with the eye of a painter and a heart as big as the country about which he writes.” —Frederick Barton “Boyden is such a fine writer, evoking his characters’ emotions in a touching and understandable way.” —Toronto Star“Boyden continues the difficult conversation of reconciliation by allowing us a glimpse into the frightened mind of a child who only knows that home is where he should be—and that Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School is not it.” —Maclean’s “Joseph Boyden has written Wenjack, a novella that deftly suffuses Chanie’s tragedy with traditional Aboriginal beliefs…. This is a world of transformations where owls can turn into mice, and fish give themselves voluntarily to fishermen—a world in which all beings are interconnected through the ceaseless interplay of life and death…. At the end of the novella, Boyden shows Chanie in the afterlife dancing and feasting with the animals. The image, meant to convey an ecological and spiritual truth, does little to redeem his final, terrible hours on the tracks.” —Maclean’s  “Chanie Wenjack was just 12 when his body was found beside the railroad tracks just days after he ran away from his residential school in Kenora, Ont. Now, 50 years later, the young Ojibwe boy is being remembered in … this magical novella, the chapters alternating between Chanie’s journey and the spirit animals who document his quest — and wait to receive him when he passes over to their sphere.” —Toronto Star“It should be required reading.” —CTV News