Medicine River is a witty, engaging novel set in a contemporary Blackfoot (Siksika) reserve community, called Medicine River. Thomas King introduces two key characters, Harlan Bigbear and his photographer friend Will. Harlan is the classic trickster character who has a scheme for his recently returned friend Will. An award-winning news photographer Will returns for his mother's funeral. His best friend sets out to have Will photograph Medicine River Elders. Will sets up his new photography business in Medicine River and finds himself playing basketball for the community's team. There is an attempt at love when Will connects with the pregnant Louise. The birth of her daughter is a hilarious encounter as Will is mistakenly considered the baby's father by the hospital staff.
Throughout the story, Will attempts to reconnect to his mixed race identity as he and Harlan move from one episode to another. Along the way there is humour and good-natured joking as well as moving and painful experiences for the characters.
Medicine River, a popular novel by Thomas King, is an authorized student support resource for Alberta Education grade 10, 11, and 12 English Language Arts. This book is on the list of recommended Aboriginal titles developed by staff of the (SOLS) Southern Ontario Library Service and the Ontario Library Service North for the Aboriginal Library Book Investment by the Ontario Ministry of Culture into the Ontario Public Libraries. This 2014 Penguin Modern Classics edition features a introduction by Rudy Wiebe.
Reading Level: 7