Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 16 to 18
- Grade: 11 to 12
Celebrated cartoonist Kate Beaton vividly presents the untold story of Canada
Before there was Kate Beaton, New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Hark A Vagrant fame, there was Katie Beaton of the Cape Breton Beatons, specifically Mabou, a tight-knit seaside community where the lobster is as abundant as beaches, fiddles and gaelic folk songs. After university, Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush, part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can't find it in the homeland they love so much. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, what the journey will actually cost Katie will be far more than she anticipates.
Arriving in Fort McMurray, Katie finds work in the lucrative camps owned and operated by the world's largest oil companies. Being one of the few women among thousands of men, the culture shock is palpable. It does not hit home until she moves to a spartan, isolated worksite for higher pay. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet never discussed. For young Katie, her wounds may never heal.
Beaton's natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, Northern Lights, and Rocky Mountains. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.
About the author
Kate Beaton est auteure de Diantre! un manant, un recueil de bandes dessinées classé au palmarès du New York Times et de l'album illustré La princesse et le poney. Elle est lauréate de nombreux prix Harvey et ses dessins ont paru dans le New Yorker. Kate a grandi sur l'île du Cap-Breton, en Nouvelle-Écosse.
Kate Beaton is the author of The Princess and the Pony, which received four starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Notable Children's Book, and Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside, Pops!, both #1 New York Times bestselling comics collections. Kate is the recipient of multiple Harvey awards, and her cartoons have been featured in the New Yorker. Kate lives in Canada, and you can find her online at www.beatontown.com, or on Twitter and Tumblr as @beatonna.