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Fiction Historical


by (author) George Bowering

New Star Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2008
Historical, Action & Adventure, Westerns
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2008
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2008
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13
  • Grade: 8


With an Introduction by Sherrill Grace.

Cowboys and Indians, sometimes one and the same, occupy the rugged landscape of the late nineteenth-century British Columbia interior in George Bowering's Shoot! Meet the McLean Gang — brothers Allan, Charlie, and Archie — and their sidekick Alex Hare. Halfbreeds who grew up bitter outcasts, rejected by both white and Indian worlds, they roam the ranch country around Kamloops on a wild spree of cattle rustling, robbery, and mayhem. Until the day they go too far and kill two men in cold blood, one of whom is the local sheriff. Tracked and captured by a posse of over a hundred men, the McLean Gang — the youngest a boy of fourteen — were tried, convicted and hanged in short order. Originally published in 1994, Shoot! is a compassionate tale of race relations in the interior of British Columbia in the 1800s. Told with humour and sensitivity, George Bowering's imaginative re-creation of the world of the real-life McLean Gang soars into the realm of exhilarating speculation.

About the author

George Bowering
George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate and co-founder of the avant-garde poetry magazine TISH, was born in the Okanagan Valley.
A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than eighty books, including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and youth fiction.
In 2002, Bowering was recognized by the Vancouver Sun as one of the most influential people in British Columbia.
In 2011, he received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence in British Columbia.

George Bowering's profile page

Librarian Reviews


In this novel, Bowering gives a fictional treatment to the little-known true story of the McLean gang who lived in the Kamloops area in the late 1800s. The McLean brothers and a friend were a group of half white/half Aboriginal boys who ended up forming an outlaw gang which became increasingly violent, eventually escalating to murder. A posse was formed and the boys ended up in jail. The book explores issues of equity, liberty, loyalty and justice. The McLeans considered themselves to be fighting against the whites (but also often considered themselves white), while the government just saw ‘half-breed’ outlaws.

Bowering is an officer of the Order of Canada and was Canada’s first Poet Laureate. His numerous books include the Governor General’s Award-winning titles The Gangs of Kosmos and Burning Water.

Caution: Contains violence, swearing and racist language.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

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