Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 8
- Grade: p to 3
A picture book celebrating Indigenous culture and traditions. The Governor General Award--winning team behind When We Were Alone shares a story that honors our connections to our past and our grandfathers and fathers.
A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, "Is this your trapline?" Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago -- a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child's wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.
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.
Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received many awards, including the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You, written by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and the Canadian Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award in 2015 for Dolphins SOS, written by Roy Miki (Tradewind Books) and in 2017 for My Heart Fills with Happiness, written by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books), and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014-2015.
- Nominated, Chocolate Lily Award
- Nominated, Shining Willow Award
- Long-listed, First Nations Communities Read Award
- Winner, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
- Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards
- Short-listed, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
- Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
- Winner, Governor General's Literary Awards - Children's Literature - Illustration
WINNER of the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People’s Literature — Illustrated Books!
WINNER of the 2022 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award!
Named one of School Library Journal's Caldenott Books (2021)
A CCBC Best Book for Kids and Teens, Fall 2021 — Starred Pick
A Horn Book 2021 Best Kids Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Best Book for Kids (2021)
A Canadian Children's Book Centre Favourite Book of the Year (2021)
A Quill & Quire Kids' Book of the Year (2021)
An American Indians in Children’s Literature Best Book of 2021
An Evanston Public Library Blueberry List pick
“An outstanding contribution to the literature about family, intergenerational friendship, remembrance, community, Indigenous experience, and more.” —STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book
“Robertson’s text is as spare as Flett’s artwork, leaving plenty of space for readers to feel the emotions evoked by both.” —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
“A deeply affecting journey of memory and history.” —STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
“This second collaboration between the Governor-General’s Award-winning writer-illustrator team — who share common Cree ancestry — focuses on the connection between a boy and his moshom (grandpa) as they travel by plane, foot and boat to the northern wilderness, where a young moshom once lived off the land with his family.” —Globe and Mail
"There are many lessons to be learned in this gentle story about intergenerational respect and relationships, both with people and the land." —Canadian Children’s Book Centre
“[A] powerful story well told in an understated manner.” —CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“On the Trapline is a stunning picture book that highlights Indigenous values, including the deep connections to family and the land.” —Mutually Inclusive
Other titles by David A. Robertson
The Theory of Crows
The Stone Child
The Misewa Saga, Book Three
Engaging With Indigenous Narratives and Cultural Expressions In and Beyond the Classroom
The Great Bear
The Misewa Saga, Book Two
Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory
A Residential School Story
Ispík kákí péyakoyak/When We Were Alone
The Barren Grounds
The Misewa Saga, Book One