Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
In this national bestseller, David A. Robertson “weaves an engrossing and unforgettable story with the precision of a historian and the colour of a true Indigenous storyteller." (Rosanna Deerchild)
7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga is an epic, four-part graphic novel. Illustrated in vivid colour, the story follows one Indigenous family over three centuries and seven generations. This compiled edition was originally published as a series of four graphic novels: Stone, Scars, Ends/Begins, and The Pact.
Stone introduces Edwin, a young man who must discover his family’s past if he is to have any future. Edwin learns of his ancestor Stone, a young Plains Cree man, who came of age in the early 19th century. When his older brother is tragically killed during a Blackfoot raid, Stone, the best shot and rider in his encampment, must overcome his grief to avenge his brother’s death.
In Scars, the story of White Cloud, Edwin's ancestor, is set against the smallpox epidemic of 1870-1871. After witnessing the death of his family one by one, White Cloud must summon the strength to find a new home and deliver himself from the terrible disease.
In Ends/Begins, readers learn about the story of Edwin’s father, and his experiences in a residential school. In 1964, two brothers are taken from the warm and loving care of their grandparents, and spirited away to a residential school. When older brother James discovers the anguish that his brother is living under, it leads to unspeakable tragedy.
In The Pact, the guilt and loss of James’s residential school experiences follow him into adulthood, and his life spirals out of control. Edwin, mired in his own pain, tries to navigate past the desolation of his fatherless childhood. As James tries to heal himself he begins to realize that, somehow, he must save his son’s life—as well as his own. When father and son finally meet, can they heal their shattered relationship, and themselves, or will it be too late?
Find ideas for using this book in your classroom in the FREE Teacher’s Guide for 7 Generations.
About the authors
DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the winner of the Beatrice Mosionier Aboriginal Writer of the Year Award, the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer and the TWUC Freedom to Read Award. His books include The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga; When We Were Alone (winner of the Governor General’s Award, a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and a McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People); Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award, graphic novel category); and the YA novel Strangers (recipient of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction). He is the creator and host of the podcast Kiwew. Through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, Robertson educates as well as entertains, reflecting Indigenous cultures, histories and communities while illuminating many contemporary issues. David A. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.
Scott Henderson (he/him/his) is author/illustrator of the sci-fi/fantasy comic, The Chronicles of Era and has illustrated select titles in the Canadian Air Force’s For Valour series and Tales From Big Spirit series, the graphic novel series 7 Generations and A Girl Called Echo, select stories in This Place: 150 Years Retold, Fire Starters, an AIYLA Honour Book, and Eisner-award nominee, A Blanket of Butterflies. In 2016, he was the recipient of the C4 Central Canada Comic Con Storyteller Award. https://scotthendersonart.wordpress.com/
Emotionally powerful works. Recommended.
A masterpiece of traditional knowledge; a powerful gift to share!
Betty Ross, Elder, Cross Lake First Nation
Among recommended Indigenous titles for building an Inclusive Graphic Novel Collection
Reconciliation is about respect...and self-respect is where it starts. A good story is worth telling, and when told well is worth reading. Especially this one.
Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
David weaves an engrossing and unforgettable story with the precision of a historian and the colour of a true Indigenous storyteller.
Rosanna Deerchild, author of "This Is a Small Northern Town"
Selected for CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens list
Canadian Children's Book Centre
A powerful message through image and artwork [that] will engage readers in an historical and insightful story.
David Booth, author and educator
An excellent Canadian teen graphic novel series...[and] an honest portrayal of a young Cree man learning about his family's hardship.
Ottawa Public Library
Healing lies in knowing our past, not just of our lives, but also the distant past of our ancestors. The interweaving movements from present to past and past to present are like waves of cleansing waters washing in to the present, and back out to that distant past. It's mesmerizing.
Beatrice Mosionier, author of "In Search of April Raintree"