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Michel Noël

Michel Noël is a Metis author of several award-winning books for young people, including La ligne de trappe, which won the Governor General's Award and the Prix Alvine Belisle for the best children's book published in Quebec.

Because his father worked for an international paper company, Michel grew up in the logging camps of northern Quebec, living alongside the Algonquian of Lac Rapide, Lac Victoria and Maniwaki. He now lives in Quebec City where he works in the Ministry of Culture and Communications as coordinator of native affairs.

Good For Nothing
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his Metis reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he's a good-for-nothing who, like all Indians, can look forward to a life of drunkenness, prison and despair. 

The reserve, however, offers nothing to Nipishish. He feels even more isolated here. He remembers little of his late mother and father. In fact, he seems to know less about himself than the people at the band office. He must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father's death.

Adolescents will find inspiration in his courage to reclaim his identity and claim his rightful place on the reserve. The book also provides great insight into the roots of many ongoing Indigenous issues.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Curriculum Connections: Indigenous Studies, History, Geography, Social Sciences, English

Additional Information
256 pages | 4.25" x 7.00" | Written by Michel Noel. Translated by Shelley Tanaka.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text