The Middle of Everywhere

SKU: 9781554690909

Monique Polak
Grade Levels:
Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
Arctic, Inuit
Book Type:
Orca Book Publishers
Copyright Data:

Sale price$14.95


The Middle of Everywhere is a powerful novel told in first-person narrative about a reluctant 15-year-old youth visiting his estranged father who is a respected teacher in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec. Noah is nervous to visit his father in the far and desolate north because he really does not know his father and Noah really wants to remain living in Montreal with his mom and be close to all his school friends. But Noah's eyes are opened when he arrives in the small Inuit community. The first day he goes for a jog but his new-found pet dog is hit by a truck. Noah can't fathom the Inuit attitude to animals considered pets by southerners. Noah attends the school taught by his father and realizes what one feels like when you are one of only two non-Inuit people in the school. Stereotypes melt away when Noah accepts the offer to go winter camping on the land with a cultural teacher and fellow students. It is on the land where Noah begins to understand the depth of traditional knowledge held by Inuit young and old. He also learns first-hand about global warming; the Inuit sled-dog massacre by the RCMP; effects of residential school; and what issues northern teens must face. Each topic is brought seamlessly into the plot narrative. Difficult subjects such as alcoholism, family violence and teen suicide are told in ways that teens can comprehend. The action and adventure are realistically portrayed when the campers find a polar bear nosing around their tents. Throughout the novel the reader sees the ways things are for the Inuit students both boys and girls and Noah no longer resents his absent father when he begins to see his Dad in the way the students see their respected teacher. Romance is a minor subplot as is the role of bullies and how someone can deal with this behaviour. The novel is respectful of Inuit students and their struggles and the story is never dull or preachy. The author has a direct connection to students of Kangiqsualujjuaq and this respectful understanding comes through in this compelling novel recommended for grades seven to ten. ATOS Reading Level: 4.1; Lexile Measure: 660.

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