7 Generations Series by Robertson and Henderson

This is a series of three graphic novels which I decided to look into after reading Sugar Falls by David Alexander Robertson and illustrated by Scott Henderson.

Book 1 is entitled Stone and introduces Edwin, a young aboriginal man who has Stoneattempted suicide and whose mother is desperate to have him come to understand his past in order to help him move forward. The book tells the story of Stone, a young Plains Cree man from the 19th century. It describes Stone’s vision quest, ancient ceremonies for warriors, his marriage and a powerful relationship between brothers and it addresses the matter of fate. The authenticity of the art work adds considerably to the richness of the story.

ScarsBook 2 is called Scars and the main character is White Cloud, a young Plains Cree boy caught in the epidemic of small pox which swept the prairies in 1870 and caused devastation. White Cloud’s family attempts to escape the plague by fleeing from their village. The book tells the story of White Cloud’s efforts to survive and move forward and the reader sees why this story c0uld be important to Edwin who needs to summon similar strength if he is to survive.

Book 3 is titled Ends/Begins and it tells the story of Edwin’s father and his father’s brother at the residential school. There is  a powerful poem at the end of this book. Here are the last two verses

Empty ’til the numb, now painEndsBegins
Now drain us of the living rush,
Living, but we are estranged,
Estranged and broken by the touch.

The broken circle ends/begins,
Ends among the stolen ones,
Stolen, though reclaimed again,
Reclaimed, but somehow still undone.

These realistically drawn graphic novels, at only 30 pages each, would be one of many excellent choices to use as a teaching tool for challenged readers who want to read about adult issues or learn about their society. They would also be a good choice for adults who need to broaden their reading horizons. It goes without saying that they have plenty of appeal for readers already familiar with graphic novels! There is supposed to be a Book 4 titled The Pact so keep an eye out for this one.

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