Michael Kusugak

Michael Kusugak grew up in Repulse Bay, a small village in the Northwest Territories. "I’ve always been close to the land, the sea and the animals,” he says. “I want to teach everything I know about how to live here, and write about everything kids like to do."

During his childhood, Michael’s family traveled by dog team; they lived in igloos in the winter and tents in the summer. He had no access to books as a child, and didn't speak a word of English until he was seven. “Every night, my grandma would tell us a story to put us to sleep,” he recalls. In 1954, a float plane whisked Michael off to a residential school in Chesterfield Inlet. “When you're seven years old and hauled away from your parents, it's very hard. I cried the whole year I was there—that’s all I remember. The following fall, when the airplane came again, I went and hid in the hills. I didn't go to school that year.” Michael went on to become one of the first Inuit from the eastern Arctic to graduate from high school, piecing together his education in Rankin Inlet, Yellowknife, Churchill and Saskatoon.

While in school, Michael enjoyed writing stories and poems, but he never thought of becoming an author until he met Robert Munsch. “He stayed with us during Children’s Book Week once, and I told him all kinds of legends. He suggested that I write them down, so we worked on one together, and eventually it was published!” That story, A Promise is a Promise, is based on one of Michael’s childhood memories. He explains, “I take things that are native to me, such as the northern lights, and create a story around them.”

Michael has since published many other titles, including Baseball Bats for Christmas, Hide and Sneak, Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails, My Arctic 1,2,3, Arctic Stories and Who Wants Rocks?— all of which are stunningly complemented by Vladyana Langer Krykorka's artwork. Northern Lights won the Ruth Schwartz Award in 1994. A Promise is a Promise and Northern Lights have been developed as CD-ROMs.

Prior to writing books for children, Michael spent 15 years working for the government in various positions. In his last posting he was Director of Community Programs for Arctic College. Now he devotes his time to writing, storytelling and speaking to educators. In 1997 he shared his stories at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto, during the run of a double-feature stage presentation: Michael Kusugak's Stories of the Inuit and A Promise is a Promise.

One of the most rewarding experiences for Michael is visiting children in schools and at libraries. He mesmerizes young audiences with narratives from his Arctic home and tales told with string. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, boating and looking out his study window at the northern landscape stretching towards the horizon.
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Arctic Comics
Traditional Territory: Inuit
  • Arctic Comics is a full-colour anthology containing tales of myth, adventure and humour, told at the top of the world

    Written and drawn by Inuit, Northerners, and other Canadians

    Including Kiviuq Versus Big Bee, Jose Kusugak and Germaine Arnaktauyok's magical recount of an Inuit legend, On Waiting, a story by award-winning children's author Michael Kusugak and illustrated by watercolourist Susan Shirley, Nicholas Burns and George Freeman's Blizzard House, an arctic science fiction adventure, The Great Slo-Pitch Massacre, a humorous tale of young love gone wrong and Film Nord, a farcical detective story starring an Inuk RCMP officer, both written and drawn by Nicholas Burns

$17.99

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Curse of the Shaman: A Marble Island Story
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Sometimes even shamans get cranky. That was baby Wolverine’s misfortune — to be cursed by an out-of-sorts shaman frustrated by his own baby daughter’s incessant crying. Not only has shaman Paaliaq forbidden the future marriage of Wolverine to Breath, Paaliaq’s beautiful but teary baby girl, he has cursed Wolverine, banishing him when he becomes a young man. And even when a contrite Paaliaq later revokes the curse, the shaman’s even crankier magic animal will not. Now Wolverine finds himself stranded on a barren island, locked in a life-or-death struggle to return to his home, his family and a very special young girl.

    Michael Kusugak, consummate storyteller and bestselling author,conjures up an Inuit tale of adventure, perseverance and first-time love shot through with humanity and humour. This is a story perfect for its pre-teen and Â’tween audience, where even the strong and the mighty have bad days, the bully gets his due and a dream can come true.

$12.99

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A Dog Team
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Level 3

    Back cover book introduction:
    This book is about a dog team. The dog in the front is the lead dog.
    The dogs in the team work together to pull a sled.
    What do you notice about these dogs?

    Book Dimensions: 6in x 9in
    Pages: 16
    ISBN: 9781771740593

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$7.50

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A Dog Team (6-pack)
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Level 3

    Back cover book introduction:
    This book is about a dog team. The dog in the front is the lead dog.
    The dogs in the team work together to pull a sled.
    What do you notice about these dogs?

    Book Dimensions: 6in x 9in
    Pages: 16
    6-Pack ISBN: 9781771740760

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$45.00

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A Promise Is A Promise
Format: Paperback
  • Contrary to her mothers advice, Allashua decides to challenge the Qallupilluit, an imaginary Inuit character who lives under the sea ice near her home. After a surprising turn of events, the entire family is now free to fish on the ice because legend tells that children with their parents may never be captured, and a "promise is a promise."

$7.95

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Arctic Stories
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Acclaimed Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak weaves a tapestry of tales about ten-year-old Agatha and her accidental heroism in the high Arctic of 1958. The first of Agatha''s stories is based on one of Kusugak''s real life experiences, when an eerie, black airship flew over Chesterfield Inlet in 1958. A sleepy Agatha "saves" the community from the monstrous flying object.

    In the second story, Agatha notices the playful antics of the winter ravens and takes an interest in the many migrating birds. As the seasons change, she begins to favor more beautiful and peaceful birds of spring, until the ravens return.

    The third of Agatha''s stories takes place in the fall when Agatha is sent to school in Chesterfield Inlet, an English-speaking community south of her home. During an afternoon of skating, Agatha rescues a show-off priest, who has inadvertently demonstrated the danger of thin ice.

    The three Agatha stories resonate with the nostalgia and affection of Kusugak''s childhood memories.

$7.95

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Baby Arctic Animals
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Level 8

    Back cover book introduction:
    This book is about some of the animals that live in the Arctic.
    Look at the front cover of this book. How many animals do you see? Can you name them?

    Book Dimensions: 6in x 9in
    Pages: 16
    ISBN: 9781771740609

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Baby Arctic Animals (6-pack)
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Level 8

    Back cover book introduction:
    This book is about some of the animals that live in the Arctic.
    Look at the front cover of this book. How many animals do you see? Can you name them?

    Book Dimensions: 6in x 9in
    Pages: 16
    6-Pack ISBN: 9781771740777

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$45.00

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Baseball Bats for Christmas
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Never having seen trees, the children in Repulse Bay decide that the funny things sent to them one year must actually be baseball bats. An autobiographical tale from Michael Kusugak's childhood tells a story of life in the arctic, and how easily different cultures can interpret things differently.

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$12.95

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Birds Come and Go
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Level 15

    Back cover book introduction:
    As the winter snow begins to melt many different kinds of birds return to the north to build their nests.During the short Arctic summer their eggs hatch. The chicks grow quickly. They must be ready to fly south with their parents in the fall.
    Follow the return of the birds through the seasons.

    Book Dimensions: 6in x 9in
    Pages: 16
    ISBN: 9781771740616

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Birds Come and Go (6-pack)
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Level 15

    Back cover book introduction:
    As the winter snow begins to melt many different kinds of birds return to the north to build their nests.During the short Arctic summer their eggs hatch. The chicks grow quickly. They must be ready to fly south with their parents in the fall.
    Follow the return of the birds through the seasons.

    Book Dimensions: 6in x 9in
    Pages: 16
    6-Pack ISBN: 9781771740784

    2-Page Preview:

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$45.00

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Collection le nord
Format: Paperback
  • All 8 books in the Collection le nord series!

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$79.60

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Des battes de baseball pour Noel
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Never having seen trees, the children in Repulse Bay decide that the funny things sent them one year must actually be baseball bats. An autobiographical tale from Michael Kusugak's childhood tells a story of life in the arctic, and easily different cultures can interpret things differently.

$6.95

Out of Print
Hide and Sneak
Author: Michael Kusugak
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
  • One lovely afternoon Allashua is lured into mischief by a charming but sneaky little creature.

$7.95

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I Build An Igloo
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Level 11

    Back cover book introduction:
    This book will show you how to build an igloo out of blocks of snow.
    Making the snow blocks the right size and shape is very important. The blocks are rectangular.
    How do you think that the author, Michael Kusugak, learned to build an igloo?

    Book Dimensions: 6in x 9in
    Pages: 16
    ISBN: 9781771740623

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