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Surviving the City

Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel debut, Surviving the City, is a story about womanhood, friendship, colonialism, and the anguish of a missing loved one.

Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape – they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?


  • Winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award for Works in an Alternative Format
  • Co-winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Author
  • Winner of the Manuela Dias Design and Illustration Award, Graphic Novel category

Educator & Series Information
Recommended Grades: 7-12.

This graphic novel is part of the Debwe Series.

Additional Information
56 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"