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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"
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$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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$18.95

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Crees in the Caribbean
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

A heartwarming comedy about two middle-aged First Nations seniors, Evie and Cecil, on their very first trip out of the country. Evie and Cecil reminisce and bicker as they review a lifetime together.

CECIL
So, what exactly are we going to do now that we’re here in Mexico?

EVIE
I’m so glad you asked. Supposedly there are some ancient Mayan ruins somewhere in the interior, not far from here. I thought that might be interesting.

CECIL
If you want to look at an ancient, broken-down, Indian ruin, we can go visit your cousin.


Evie and Cecil are celebrating their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. As a gift, their grown children send them on a second honeymoon – to a fabulous resort on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. The only problem is that neither have ever been out of the country, let alone off their Cree reservation. Each reacts to their new experiences differently, and something ominous seems to be bothering Cecil. Despite the sun, sand, and sea sparkling right outside the resort window, all Cecil seems to want to do is sit alone in his hotel room, idly flipping through TV channels, the curtains pulled tight. What is he worried about? Maybe there is more behind this trip than he has been told. The past, present, and future all pay the couple a visit as they acclimatize to the pleasures of Mexico –and spicy food. Mixed up in all the fun is their hotel housekeeper, Manuela. As they form a bond with this courteous young local, they help her navigate some of the troublesome situations in which she finds herself.

Cast of 1 man and 2 women.

Review
"The play is packed with wit and humour, but also packs an emotional punch. At the heart of Crees in the Caribbean is a commentary on the universality of human experiences from culture to culture; it shows that people from all parts of the world can share similar stories and experiences." — The Argus

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128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$17.95

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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"

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$18.99

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Glimpses of Oneida Life
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Glimpses of Oneida Life is a remarkable compilation of modern stories of community life at the Oneida Nation of the Thames Settlement and the surrounding area. With topics ranging from work experiences and Oneida customs to pranks, humorous encounters, and ghost stories, these fifty-two unscripted narrations and conversations in Oneida represent a rare collection of first-hand Iroquoian reflections on aspects of daily life and culture not found in print elsewhere.

Each text is presented in Oneida with both an interlinear, word-by-word translation and a more colloquial translation in English. The book also contains a grammatical sketch of the Oneida language by Karin Michelson, co-author of the Oneida-English/English-Oneida Dictionary, that describes how words are structured and combined into larger linguistic structures, thus allowing Glimpses to be used as a teaching text as well.

The engrossing tales in Glimpses of Oneida Life will be a valuable resource for linguists and language learners, a useful source for those studying the history and culture of Iroquois people in the twentieth-century, and an entertaining read for anyone interested in everyday First Nations life in southern Ontario.

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472 pages | 6.97" x 10.00"

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$49.95

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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"

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$21.00

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Moccasin Square Gardens: Short Stories
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene; Tlicho (Dogrib);
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Master Tłı̨chǫ storyteller and bestselling author Richard Van Camp captures the shifting and magical nature of the North in this stunning collection of short stories.

The characters of Moccasin Square Gardens inhabit Denendeh, the land of the people north of the sixtieth parallel. These stories are filled with in-laws, outlaws and common-laws. Get ready for illegal wrestling moves (“The Camel Clutch”), pinky promises, a doctored casino, extraterrestrials or “Sky People,” love, lust, and prayers for peace. 

While this is Van Camp’s most hilarious short story collection, it’s also haunted by the lurking presence of the Wheetago, human-devouring monsters of legend that have returned due to global warming and the greed of humanity. The stories in Moccasin Square Gardens show that medicine power always comes with a price. 

To counteract this darkness, Van Camp weaves a funny and loving portrayal of the Tłı̨chǫ Dene and other communities of the North, drawing from oral history techniques to perfectly capture the character and texture of everyday small-town life. “Moccasin Square Gardens” is the nickname of a dance hall in the town of Fort Smith that serves as a meeting place for a small but diverse community. In the same way, the collection functions as a meeting place for an assortment of characters, from shamans and time-travelling goddess warriors to pop-culture-obsessed pencil pushers, to con artists, archivists and men who just need to grow up, all seeking some form of connection.

Additional Information
160 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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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"

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$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"

 

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$22.00

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Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

An uproariously funny and sharply inquisitive new play from one of Canada’s leading Indigenous playwrights, Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion explores the possibility of reconciliation between Peoples and urgently questions past and contemporary forms of Canadian colonialism. Taylor’s twenty-seventh play, Sir John A’s characters include Canada’s infamous first Prime Minister, red-nosed and pompous, full of patriarchal contempt for those “strange and perplexing Indians,” and his contemporary accusers: two Ojibway men and a soul-searching white woman. 

Bobby Rabbit, Sir John A’s irked, Anishinaabe main character, in a fit of anger and revenge, convinces his friend Hugh to accompany him on a “sojourn of justice”: to dig up Sir John A. Macdonald’s bones and hold them for ransom. Decades before, a medicine pouch belonging to Bobby’s grandfather was taken away by the staff of the residential school where he was detained. The precious object was sent to a British Museum exhibition room for conservation – and now Bobby wants it repatriated. Along the way the pair pick up Anya, a young, bright, and opinionated woman fleeing a bad breakup, with conflicting ideas about Sir John A’s place in Canadian history. Not to be left out of the argument, Canada’s first Prime Minister, broadcasting live from nineteenth-century Ottawa, shows up with opinions of his own. 

Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion is a powerful satire, a creative debate about the past violences of colonial racism and the as yet untested potentiality of restoring harmony between Peoples in Canada. A contemporary classic by Taylor!

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
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$17.95

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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" 

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$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.

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$22.95

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The Goddaughter Does Vegas
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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.

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144 pages | 4.75" x 7.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
Artists:
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise!
Tomson Highway's musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn't be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for.
The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack.
The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full—colour volume serves as an interactive read—aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.

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$24.95

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