A Blanket of Butterflies

Highwater PressSKU: 9781553795483

Richard Van Camp
Grade Levels:
Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve
Book Type:
Highwater Press
Copyright Data:

Sale price$18.95


A Blanket of Butterflies explores the journey of Shinobu, a mysterious stranger who visits Fort Smith, NWT, to retrieve his family's samurai suit of armor and sword from the museum. When he discovers that his grandfather's sword has been lost in a poker game to the man they call "Benny the Bank," he sets out to retrieve it, with the help of a young boy, Sonny, and his grandmother. Together, they face Benny and his men, Torchy, Sfen and the giant they call Flinch. This graphic novel, illustrated in a stark contrast of black and white panels by Scott B. Henderson, explores the grace of family and the power of the Great Mystery. Renowned Tlicho writer from Fort Smith, Richard Van Camp, draws inspiration for this engaging graphic novel from a real-life mystery of a samurai sword and suit of armour located the Fort Smith museum collection. In the graphic novel, Shinobu, is an Asian warrior who has battle scars and a fierce determination to retrieve this family heirloom. The warrior visits Fort Smith and seeks the person who currently has possession of the sword. Tracking down the person known as Benny draws the warrior into the search for the gang leader. Inspired by Sonny's grandmother and her prophetic dream about the consequences of the atomic bomb during World War Two. Fort Smith miners were stricken with cancer during the town's uranium mining period. Through the peaceful influence of Sonny's beloved grandmother who also is the town's midwife, the warrior is able to repatriate the sword and fulfill his family's legacy. Multiple themes are presents in this graphic novel including museum repatriation of precious cultural artifacts; the power of family and intergenerational relationships; the power of peaceful resolution; the strength of Indigenous women; and the redemption of warriors from all nations. The book will appeal to all young adult readers especially those who do not enjoy reading novels. The evocative black and white panels of artwork by Scott Henderson keep the need for text bubbles to a minimum. Highly recommended. A Blanket of Butterflies has been selected in the Young Adult/Adult Category Longlist for First Nation Communities READ 2017.

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