About the Author

Aviaq Johnston

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.

Books by this Author
Those Who Dwell Below
Excerpt

The water was glacial, crushing the breath out of Pitu’s lungs and squeezing his stomach tight. His thoughts and worries left his mind, and all that remained was panic rushing through his entire body. As he sank beneath the ice, Pitu felt as though he was being stabbed from all directions. For a moment, he thought it might be the qallupilluit, their long, sharp nails piercing him. Eventually, Pitu opened his eyes, and for a moment they burned. But he could see that he was alone in the darkness. Soon the burning dissipated. He looked around, and above him he could see a jagged cast of light. As he descended, as he watched that light drifting farther and blurring with the salt and ice, a calmness engulfed him.

Pitu held his breath, but he also felt the absence of needing to breathe. The current kept pulling him deeper into the ocean. The stabbing pain of the cold had stopped, and now Pitu only felt numb. The light had disappeared completely now. Though he was surrounded by darkness, Pitu was comfortable in it.

His eyes began to adjust to the darkness and suddenly there was no darkness at all. The water surrounding him had turned a beautiful shade of blue, and inexplicable floes of ice floated around him. The floes cast bright lights that were unlike sunlight or moonlight. Their soft glow created an exquisite colourful aura.

This isn’t how nature works, Pitu thought.

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