Haunted by the vicious creatures of his recent past, Pitu tries to go back to a normal life at home after the other-worldly travels and near-death encounters of his recent disappearance into the world of the spirits. But Pitu knows that there is more work to be done, and more that he must learn in his new role as a shaman. When word of a starving village nearby reaches Pitu, he must go help its people appease the angry spirits. It soon becomes clear that Pitu must travel to the bottom of the ocean to meet Nuliajuk, the vengeful woman below, one of the most powerful beings in Inuit mythology. There he learns about his role in saving the starving community and that all in his home camp may not be as it seems . . .
Johnston beautifully blends a portrait of the traditional Inuit life on the land with Inuit mythology and folklore to create a novel that will grab young readers from the first page...Johnston not only effortlessly mixes fact and fiction but has also created in Pitu a character that young readers will care deeply about – good thing, since there’s a third book in the works.
[Aviaq Johnston's] writing, which includes traditional culture and mythology, opens the door to an entirely new world for her southern Canadian audience. She helps her readers travel to a part of Canada which most of us will never experience firsthand. She introduces readers to the sights and sounds and smells of the Arctic as well as to traditional culture.
Rich in detail and culturally nuanced, any reader will find the story approachable and connect to its themes of friendship, compassion, and trust...An elegant sequel that can dwell on its own.
The novel is deeply layered and rewarding...Through a lithe series of philosophical dialogues about tradition and change, arrogance and respect, Pitu must think deeply about himself and his community. Readers are sure to come away with a broader sense of these themes. The book’s stark yet striking illustrations add a further layer for contemplation.