Red River Resistance

Category: Book
Illustrated By: Henderson, Scott B.
By (author): Vermette, Katherena
Illustrated By: Yaciuk, Donovan
Series: A Girl Called Echo
Subject:  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / General
  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Historical / Canada
  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / People & Places / Aboriginal & Indigenous
Publisher: Portage & Main Press
Published: March 2019
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 48
Size: 10.00in x 6.50in x 0.13in
Our Price:
$ 19.95
In stock soon

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Echo Desjardins is adjusting to her new home, finding friends, and learning about Métis history. She just can't stop slipping back and forth in time. One ordinary afternoon in class, Echo finds herself transported to the banks of the Red River in the summer of 1869. All is not well in the territory as Canadian surveyors have arrived to change the face of territory, and Métis families, who have lived there for generations, are losing access to their land. As the Resistance takes hold, Echo fears for her friends and the future of her people in the Red River Valley.
From The Publisher*Red River Resistance is the second graphic novel in the A Girl Called Echo series by Governor General Award–winning writer Katherena Vermette.
Review Quote*

I absolutely loved Pemmican Wars, the first book in the A Girl Called Echo series. I am thrilled to be saying that Red River Resistance has absolutely lived up to my expectations.

Katherena Vermette has woven a beautiful story that blends together the everyday life of a lonely teenage Métis girl in Manitoba with the history of the Métis in that area. Echo is an incredibly relatable character that I think many teens would see themselves in. I moved around a lot as a teen and dealt with a lot of depression, with music and reading serving as my primary comforts, so Echo reminds me a lot of my teenage self. The historical aspects are fascinating. It is painful and important seeing Echo come to terms with the history of the Métis, and too realistic to see her going into it without knowing very much. These stories highlight gaps in my own knowledge that make me feel eager to learn. The information in this volume is a little better known than the information in the first volume, but genuinely not by much. There is so much to learn still, so I look forward to seeing what events the next volume will focus on.

Scott B. Henderson is a talented artist, and I have enjoyed a number of other books featuring his work. This is no exception, his work in A Girl Called Echo continues to be impressive. I think part of why I connect this story mentally to 7 Generations is because he did the art for both (although both stories also have a contemporary and historical focus and were published by HighWater Press, so it makes sense either way). I always prefer Henderson's work when it's coloured, and Donovan Yaciuk's colouring works incredibly well here, and it helps to bring the story to life.

I appreciated the historical timeline and the Métis List of Rights included in the back. I personally always enjoy reading any additional real-world facts in the back of any of my historical fiction readings.

I am incredibly eager to see where else this story goes, and I look forward to seeing a third volume in the future. I hope to read more from all of the creators involved in this series. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys any kind of blend of contemporary and historical story.

Review Quote*Holy cow! Ok Vermette, we need another 4 issues to make it a volume! Let's do this, for the libraries, ASAP! We NEED more of Echo! It puts me in the mind of Kindred by Octavia Butler. The artwork is beautiful, I love the story. I love that it features an Indigenous girl, in middle school, who seems like a bit of a rebel. I wasn't able to read the 1st one so I'm sure I'm missing a bit, and yet the story is still complete enough for it to gain a new fan! As an American, I'm not as well versed as I could be in Canada's history, so this was an amazing first look at the events that occurred. I look forward to more (Did I say ASAP? Can I make such a request? Please Vermette, more, soon!)! I can't say I love this enough!
Review Quote*

Red River Resistance is a graphic novel taking place through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl, Echo who time travels between events in the Red River area of Canada in 1869-1870. Not being Canadian, I was not familiar with the history at ALL and so greatly appreciated the timeline in the back of the book!

The story portrays the injustice done to the indigenous people throughout North America during this time in history, but focusing on the Métis people of Canada. Despite the more than a 100 years since the events, Echo - a descendent of some of the original inhabitants - still struggles with her identity and place in the world, and the effects of a corrupt government that cared nothing for the people it displaced, only for the monetary value of their lands.

The illustrations in this book suit the story perfectly. They have an overall blue/gray cast that lends itself to the mood, and there are very few words even for a graphic novel. For the subject matter, it really works. I will definitely be going back and looking for the first of this series, and hope there will be more after!

Review Quote*The illustrations are a marvelous work of art. The story is interesting and well-written. This is a novel that teachers can surely use in LA, history, and social studies lessons.
Review Quote*I thought this was an excellent continuation of the first book. The main character grows in her knowledge of indigenous history as well as her own self. It is a strong novel that shows the truth in what might be a skewed sense of history.
Review Quote*This is a well written, beautiful graphic novel, I enjoyed reading it. I am looking forward to the third volume! Thank you for the opportunity to review this book.
Review Quote*

Kindred meets Canadian Aboriginal history as Echo slips back and forth between time from present day Winnipeg to the Red River Valley, where she observes the annexation of the Red River Colony into Canada and the fight of the Métis to ensure their say in their government.

Knowing absolutely nothing about Canadian history and less than that about Aboriginal Canadian history, this was fairly confusing-but it was laid out clearly.

So, having not read the first book in the series, Pemmican Wars, all I can say is that I do wish that Echo's timeline had been skipped completely, as she seemed fairly bland and closed off (which makes sense, as she was emotionally distant because of being separated from her mother), in favor of following the Métis and their struggles to keep a say on their land and their culture. Again, this was because I hadn't read the first book and didn't have the background, so this is entirely an issue to do with me jumping in mid-series.

The timeline at the very end of the graphic novel is the most illuminating, as it has a clear chain of events that lead to the Red River Resistance, the groups involved, the different motivations, the Métis List of Rights, and the creation of Manitoba as Canada's fifth province-and who wins, who loses, and who lived to tell their stories (and finally learning the the stories of the marginalized).

I enjoyed the LGBTQIA+ rep, and especially the #ownvoices Aboriginal rep.

Definitely a good read to get a basic understanding of Manitoban history, and the history of Aboriginal Canadians.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

Review Quote*

This title is an absolute must for any school library or public library in Canada. With the 150th anniversary of the Red River resistance occurring in 2019, and the major focus of the Canadian government on reconciliation, this comic couldn't have come at a better time. I am so pleased to be finding so many new comics and graphic novels by Indigenous creators, and the fact that is title focuses on Métis history is fantastic!

This title is the second in a series about a young Métis girl, Echo, who finds herself in some sort of foster care. While there she is attending high school and "experiencing" the history of the past, most notably the events surrounding the controversial and tumultuous Red River resistance.

I did read the first volume of this series, and I was very excited about this next instalment. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I think my main problem is that this seems to be focusing on telling the story of the Red River resistance very quickly, but in doing so, it has forgotten to develop the characters. It also takes it for granted that you have some background in this history.

Sadly, this means that the characters are little more than shells. Even the main character, Echo has less than a personality. I feel like she was beginning to be explored in the first volume, but her personality just fell flat in this one. There is so much more that could be done with this story without exaggerating or undermining the important history that is being explored. I wanted so much more!

Because of this, I feel like it'll lose some of its audience. This comes off more as an educational work, and less as a something to pick up for pleasure. However, as an educational work it is invaluable, and would do very well to be included as supplemental material in Canadian elementary and high school classrooms.