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Humour / Comedy

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A Matter of Malice: A DreadfulWater Mystery
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cherokee;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

When a TV producer asks Thumps to assist with an episode about a local woman from a wealthy family whose death was ruled “misadventure,” he is reluctant to get involved. Then the producer dies in the exact same manner, and Thumps finds himself solving two cases.

Can a reality TV show solve a cold case?

The crew of a true-crime reality TV show, Malice Aforethought, shows up in Chinook to do an episode about the death of Trudy Samuels. Trudy’s death had originally been ruled accidental, but with ratings in mind, one of the producers, Nina Maslow, wants to prove it was murder. And she wants Thumps to help. Thumps is reluctant to get involved until Nina dies in the exact same place and in the exact same way as Trudy. Are the two deaths related? Or are there two murderers on the loose in Chinook? Thumps uses Nina’s Malice Aforethought files to try to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, and in the process discovers that she had already started work on another case close to Thumps' heart: the Obsidian murders.

Series Information
This novel is part of the DreadfulWater Mystery series from Thomas King.

Additional Information

400 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.99

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A Short History of Indians in Canada: Stories
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Acclaimed author Thomas King is in fabulous, fantastical form in this bestselling short story collection. From the surreal migrations of the title story to the misadventures of Coyote in the modern world and the chaos of a baby's unexpected arrival by airmail, King's tales are deft, hilarious and provocative. 

Reviews
"The stories in this volume cover a lot of ground. King touches on the history of displacement, racism and stereotyping, oppressive government policy, marriage and relationships, and Aboriginal-white relations, among other topics." - Dragonfly Consulting Services Canada

Educator Information
Grade 10/11 English First Peoples resource used in the unit The Trickster - A Recurring Presence.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.31" x 8.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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DreadfulWater
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cherokee;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

The award-winning, bestselling author of The Back of the Turtle and The Inconvenient Indian masters the comic mystery novel in this series opener, starring ex-cop Thumps DreadfulWater.

Thumps DreadfulWater is a Cherokee ex-cop trying to make a living as a photographer in the small town of Chinook, somewhere in the northwestern United States. But he doesn’t count on snapping shots of a dead body languishing in a newly completed luxury condo resort built by the local Indian band. It’s a mystery that Thumps can’t help getting involved in, especially when he realizes the number one suspect is Stick Merchant, anti-condo protester and wayward son of Claire Merchant, head of the tribal council and DreadfulWater’s sometimes lover. Smart and savvy, blessed with a killer dry wit and a penchant for self-deprecating humour, DreadfulWater just can’t manage to shed his California cop skin. Before long, he is deeply entangled in the mystery and has his work cut out for him.

Additional Information
448 pages | 5.31" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.99

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Green Grass, Running Water
Format: Paperback

Strong, sassy women and hard-luck, hard-headed men, all searching for the middle ground between Native American tradition and the modern world, perform an elaborate dance of approach and avoidance in this magical, rollicking tale by award-winning author Thomas King. Alberta, Eli, Lionel and others are coming to the Blackfoot reservation for the Sun Dance. There they will encounter four Indian elders and their companion, the trickster Coyote—and nothing in the small town of Blossom will be the same again...

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$19.95

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Medicine River
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

When Will returns to Medicine River, he thinks he is simply attending his mother's funeral. He doesn't count on Harlen Bigbear and his unique brand of community planning. Harlen tries to sell Will on the idea of returning to Medicine River to open shop as the town's only Native photographer. Somehow, that's exactly what happens.

Through Will's gentle and humorous narrative, we come to know Medicine River, a small Albertan town bordering a Blackfoot reserve. And we meet its people: the basketball team; Louise Heavyman and her daughter, South Wing; Martha Oldcrow, the marriage doctor; Joe Bigbear, Harlen's world-travelling, storytelling brother; Bertha Morley, who has a short fling with a Calgary dating service; and David Plume, who went to Wounded Knee. At the centre of it all is Harlen, advising and pestering, annoying and entertaining, gossiping and benevolently interfering in the lives of his friends and neighbours.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 10-11

Grade 10/11 English First Peoples resource included in the unit Relationships - Families, Friendships, Communities, and the Land.

Additional Information
320 pages | 5.31" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$21.00

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Motorcycles and Sweetgrass
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

A story of magic, family, a mysterious stranger . . . and a band of marauding raccoons.

Otter Lake is a sleepy Anishnawbe community where little happens. Until the day a handsome stranger pulls up astride a 1953 Indian Chief motorcycle – and turns Otter Lake completely upside down. Maggie, the Reserve’s chief, is swept off her feet, but Virgil, her teenage son, is less than enchanted. Suspicious of the stranger’s intentions, he teams up with his uncle Wayne – a master of aboriginal martial arts – to drive the stranger from the Reserve. And it turns out that the raccoons are willing to lend a hand.

Reviews
“A near-perfect debut, a masterful mythic-comedy balancing contemporary issues and realities with magic and history. . . . Motorcycles & Sweetgrass is a trickster story, but it’s also a fundamentally human account of individuals and of a people struggling to find a place for themselves in the world. . . . A broad, bawdy, raucous, deeply felt and utterly involving narrative, a genuine pleasure to read. . . . Motorcycles & Sweetgrass positively crackles with life, love and magic. What more can you ask of a book?”  — Robert J. Wiersema, Edmonton Journal

“Drew Hayden Taylor’s got no qualms about poking fun at his Native roots, and that’s what makes Motorcycles & Sweetgrass such a pleasure. It’s playful yet soulful, with a narrative that keeps those pages turning. . . . A fun, rollicking book, and Taylor’s voice is fresh and unique.” — NOW (Toronto)

“Taylor brings a modern twist to ancient native folklore. Motorcycles & Sweetgrass is a charming story about the importance of balance and belief—and a little bit of magic—in everyone’s life.”— Quill & Quire

“If the great Ojibway trickster Nanabush wrote fiction, I imagine he’d write just like Drew Hayden Taylor. You will find much sadness just below the laughs, and sly humour masked by sorrow. A wisdom exists in these pages that only comes from someone who writes from his heart.” — Joseph Boyden

“Fast-paced, uproariously funny and genuinely thrilling. Drew Hayden Taylor is one of Canada’s finest and funniest writers.”— Ian Ferguson, author of Village of the Small Houses

“Funny, heartfelt, hopeful and illuminating. Motorcycles & Sweetgrass made me laugh and made me think, sometimes in the same sentence. Drew Hayden Taylor is a master storyteller.”— Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans

“Drew Hayden Taylor has woven an epic tale of magic, mystery and charm for the world to discover in Motorcycles & Sweetgrass. This is a novel to savor. A complete delight!” — Richard Van Camp, author of The Moon of Letting Go and The Lesser Blessed

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit What Creates Family?

Additional Information
368 pages | 5.37" x 7.97"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.00

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Neechie Hustle
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Neechie Hustle takes place largely on the fictitious Broken Elbow First Nation in Saskatchewan. The novel provides a satirical look at the Indian Act and also looks at the emergence of neechie swagger of the late 1960s and 1970s. The rise of Pinokineechie, a wooden Indian, sees the expansion of Chief's Fried Chicken, with Crees dancing at Studio 54. The Senator, who narrates the story, helps bring balance back to the bannock force and to the Broken Elbow reserve.

Neechie Hustle is based on characters McLeod wrote and created for the “Crow Hop Café” which was a showcase for Indigenous talent that ran in Saskatchewan from 2000 to 2004.

Reviews
"An entertaining mix of Indian Act critique and Indigenous humour makes Neechie Hustle an insightful romp through the living memory of reserve life from the 1940s to the 1970s, in a Cree storytelling style that recalls the guidance of the Old Keyam stories, but in McLeod’s unique and contemporary voice, which speaks to the resilience of our First Nations communities. In Bobby Boy’s words, 'You can take the neechie out of the hustle, but you can never take the hustle out of the neechie.'" - Jesse Archibald-Barber, editor of Kisiskâciwan: An Anthology of Saskatchewan Indigenous Literature.

Additional Information
200 pages | 5.50" x 8.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.00

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Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is the emotional story of a woman’s struggle to acknowledge her birth family. Grace, a Native girl adopted by a White family, is asked by her birth sister to return to the Reserve for their mother’s funeral. Afraid of opening old wounds, Grace must find a place where the culture of her past can feed the truth of her present. Cast  of 2 women and 2 men.

Reviews
“…this play is a very tender, engaging look at two strangers learning to be sisters…witty one-liners and snappy dialogue has crafted likeable, real characters…brings a satisfying sense of closure to the struggles of Barb and Janice/Grace. It is a welcome ending, one that reflects hope for the future – not only for these two sisters , but also for all the others who have yet to find their way home.” - Cheryl Isaacs, Aboriginal Voices.

Awards

  • James Buller Award for Playwright of the Year, 1997
  • Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, Small Theatre Division, 1996.

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the units Yes, there is Funny Stuff - Humour in First Peoples Literature and What Creates Family?

Additional Information
112 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.00

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The B-Team: The Case of the Angry First Wife
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Del's great-aunt, Kitty, has retired from a life of crime and embarked on a new venture, the B-Team. Although Del works at an animal shelter by day, by night she, her great-aunt and their cohorts, Dino and Ritz, use their criminal skills to right wrongs. In this fun book, the modern-day Robin Hoods set out to return a necklace to its rightful owner but along the way discover they've been duped by an imposter who also wants to get her hands on the necklace. The problem is, criminals can't go to the police, even if they are on the side of the good. Del comes up with a new plan, and the B-Team saves the day. Not without a few detours along the way.

Reviews
"The latest entry in the publisher's 'Rapid Reads' series of high-low novels aimed at adults with a third-grade reading level, Campbell's humorous mystery is for readers who enjoy a cast of quirky characters with unusual talents. "— Library Journal, January 2018

"Campbell tells a full force mystery novel in a rapid read package…Her style is plot forward, fuelled by feel-real, snappy dialogue that reveals the sense of place right down to the street corner. The B-Team…[is] delivered with intensity and laughter."— Don Graves, Canadian Mystery Reviews, January 2018

"The B-Team is well written, attention grabbing and fun. Once started, most readers will be hooked and have a hard time putting the book down. "— CM Magazine, March 2018

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the Rapid Reads series. Rapid Reads are short novels and nonfiction books for young adults aged 16+ and adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.

Additional Information
144 pages | 4.75" x 7.25" 

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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The Best of Funny, You Don't Look Like One
Format: Paperback

The Best of Funny, You Don't Look Like One, first published by Theytus Books in 1998, has been a perennial bestseller. Drew Hayden Taylor's wit, humour and insightful commentaries have garnered legions of fanss and resulted in four Funny You Don't Look Like One books over the years. Infused with a trickster spirit and an ability to traverse the sometimes seemingly deep divide between the Native and non-Native worlds, Taylor is a sly commentator, often with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.95

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The Goddaughter Does Vegas
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Gina Gallo is a mob goddaughter who doesn't want to be one. She's left her loopy family behind to elope with Pete to Vegas. Except that eloping may be a mortal sin in an Italian family. Between that and some weird deliveries and suitors, Gina's nerves are frayed. Vegas is full of great acts, but one impersonation is real: Gina has a crime-committing double whose activities are making Gina front-page news. Gina has to track down this fiendish fraud before the police catch up with her. And, of course, cousin Nico is along for the ride.

Another madcap adventure for the loveable Gallo cousins that proves the rule "Why should things go right when they can go wrong?"

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the Rapid Reads series. Rapid Reads are short novels and nonfiction books for young adults aged 16+ and adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.

Additional Information
144 pages | 4.75" x 7.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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Tilly and the Crazy Eights
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

An unexpected journey can be powerful medicine.

When Tilly receives an invitation to help drive eight elders on their ultimate bucket list road trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, she impulsively says yes. Before she knows it, Tilly has said goodbye to her family and is behind the wheel—ready to embark on an adventure that will transform her in ways she could not predict, just as it will for each and every one of the seniors on the trip, who soon dub themselves “the Crazy Eights.”

Tilly and the Crazy Eights each choose a stop to make along the way—somewhere they’ve always wanted to go or something they’ve wanted to experience. This takes them on a route to Las Vegas and Sedona, with a final goal of reaching the Redwood Forest. Each stop becomes the inspiration for secrets and stories to be revealed. The trip proves to be powerful medicine as they laugh, heal, argue, and reveal hopes and dreams along the way. With friendships forged, love found, hearts broken and mended, Tilly and the Crazy Eights feel ready for anything by the time their bus rolls to a stop in New Mexico. But are they?

Educator Information
This is a fictional novel for adults from the author of the groundbreaking children's books Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation and My Heart Fills with Happiness.

Reviews
"Tilly and the Crazy Eights, [is] a sequel of sorts to Smith’s first book [Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience].... In Smith’s first novel, Tilly was coming of age and into sobriety; now the reader finds her at mid-life, a married mother of two who’s at a crossroads. The opportunity to spend two weeks with Elders and receive the gifts of their teachings is the medicine she needs. Ideas of medicine recur throughout the text – laughter is medicine, and so are tears and words. For everyone, this will be a journey about healing..... Most powerfully, Smith infuses her novel with joy, love, and laughter and suggests that these could be what determine the future after all."— Quill & Quire, September 2018

Educator Information
The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts.

Additional Information
230 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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