Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12
This teen novel, written by Iqaluit-based Inuit author Aviaq Johnston, is a coming-of-age story that follows a young shaman named Pitu as he learns to use his powers and ultimately finds himself lost in the world of the spirits.
After a strange and violent blizzard leaves Pitu stranded on the sea ice, without his dog team or any weapons to defend himself, he soon realizes that he is no longer in the word that he once knew. The storm has carried him into the world of the spirits, a world populated with terrifying creatures---black wolves with red eyes, ravenous and constantly stalking him; water-dwelling creatures that want nothing more than to snatch him and pull him into the frigid ocean through an ice crack. As well as beings less frightening, but equally as incredible, such as a lone giant who can carry Pitu in the palm of her hand and keeps caribou and polar bears as pets.
After stumbling upon a fellow shaman who has been trapped in the spirit world for many years, Pitu must master all of his shamanic powers to make his way back to the world of the living, to his family, and to the girl that he loves.
About the authors
Aviaq Johnston is a young Inuk author from Igloolik, Nunavut. Her debut novel Those Who Run in the Sky was shortlisted for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature, was a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Award for Young Adult Fiction, and a 2017 Honour Book for the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature. In 2018 she won the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award for Most Significant Work of Prose in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer. She is also the author of the bestselling picture book, What's My Superpower? Aviaq loves to travel and has lived in Australia and Vietnam. She spends most of her time reading, writing, studying, and procrastinating. She divides her time between Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Ottawa, Ontario.
Toma Feizo Gas's work can be found gracing the pages, and covers of titles for the Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Star Wars, and Mutant Chronicles role-playing games, as well as several upcoming fantasy novel series.
- Short-listed, Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature — Indigenous Language
- Winner, Most Significant Work of Prose in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer
- Unknown, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens
- Short-listed, Foreword Indies Award for Young Adult Fiction
- Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature
- Runner-up, Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature
“. . . [A] haunting tale, with both Inuit culture and a ghoulish spirit world explored in a thrilling and arresting manner.”
“The traditions of this Inuit culture wrap Pitu’ story in a reality that needs to be shared with all youth, Indigenous and otherwise.”
"A gem of an adventure novel grounded in Inuit myths and traditions...Lyrical writing, a suspenseful plot, and vivid illustrations make this a compelling read.Full of wisdom, earth knowledge, and spiritual depth, this novel captures the spirit of Indigenous leadership."—? Kirkus, STARRED review
“Johnston’s descriptions are detailed and bring the various spirits to life. Throughout the book, there are black and white illustrations by Toma Feizo Gas which enhance the written descriptions and add depth and interest to the story.”
Other titles by Aviaq Johnston
Sometimes I Feel Shy
What's My Superpower?
TJ and the Sleepover
Inuki's Birthday Party
Bilingual Inuktitut and English Edition
Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story
Showing You Care (English)
Showing You Care (Inuktitut)
Celebrations in Nunavut
TJ's New Friend
An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories