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The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel

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In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives. Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives. Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies. Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Aboriginal men.


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In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives. Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives. Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies. Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Aboriginal men.

30 review for The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    Personal, heartfelt, authentic, painful, unflinching, accessible, eye-opening, stark, infuriating, clear-headed, sincere, wise, spirited, empowering, transcending, important. It’s the kind of story at least everybody living in North America should have heard and watched and read many times before, yet strangely most of us never have. Essential reading.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pinky

    This was an amazing graphic novel, I loved it so much. I recently joined a book club called White Pine and there are 10 books we have to read or should read and we vote which one is the best at the end of the year. This is the first book I read from that book club and I was so glad that I picked it up! It was really unique and it's been a long time sine I read a graphic novel. While I was reading the book, I was like: This book made me understand that there are many different reasons of why peo This was an amazing graphic novel, I loved it so much. I recently joined a book club called White Pine and there are 10 books we have to read or should read and we vote which one is the best at the end of the year. This is the first book I read from that book club and I was so glad that I picked it up! It was really unique and it's been a long time sine I read a graphic novel. While I was reading the book, I was like: This book made me understand that there are many different reasons of why people do the things they do. If a person does something horrible, there could have been a reason to why they did do it. And this book is something that will help the person who made a huge mistake fix their past and make a better future. I don't know if that makes sense, but I really want as many people to read the book as possible because this is such a powerful book. This book is about an Aboriginal man named Pete who is included in a violent gang, Pete's little brother Joey and his mother who is a drug addict. Pete is really violent and has trouble controlling his anger. After his mother and her boyfriend get into a huge fight, Pete makes a huge mistake that makes him go to jail. On the other hand, Joey is also dragged into this mess and has trouble with Pete's gang. This Aboriginal family is having a hard time because of all the negative influences around them. Later on, Pete receives an offer that will change his life. The pictures in this book were beautifully drawn and I couldn't help but spend hours staring at the pictures and studying it in detail. I loved how well the words of the graphic novel and the pictures supported each other and had the perfect balance. It was really interesting and I missed reading graphic novels. It was nice to return back into the world of pictures and words. The characters were awesome but I loved the story, that was the main reason behind why I loved this book. It was beautiful and it was nice to see how Pete's character developed. The bonding between Pete and his little brother Joey was nice to read about. I highly recommend this book to those who love graphic novels. If you haven't read any graphic novels, I recommend you read The Babysitter Club, this graphic novel, and the Amulet series. This was awesome and it will change the way you think about others. :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    A hard hitting graphic novel set in Alberta, "The Outside Circle" illustrates the effects of decades of colonial policies on the indigenous people of Canada. This book was strongly recommended by a fellow educator and I have added it to my classroom library. I felt that the author takes the historical impact of government policies in a way that will be easy for reluctant readers to understand. There is some strong language, but please do not let that deter any reader-teacher or high school stude A hard hitting graphic novel set in Alberta, "The Outside Circle" illustrates the effects of decades of colonial policies on the indigenous people of Canada. This book was strongly recommended by a fellow educator and I have added it to my classroom library. I felt that the author takes the historical impact of government policies in a way that will be easy for reluctant readers to understand. There is some strong language, but please do not let that deter any reader-teacher or high school student from using it in the curriculum.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    A timely book considering the state of Canada's current treatment of its aboriginals (and really all non-christian groups). The book is concerned with the historical treatment of aboriginals and has a lot of background information about how the European leaders destroyed aboriginal culture in an attempt to assimilate aboriginals into the Christian way of life (the norm). (I recall thst C.S. Lewis had to explain in an essay that 'Christian' is not synonymous with 'good person') The book sheds ligh A timely book considering the state of Canada's current treatment of its aboriginals (and really all non-christian groups). The book is concerned with the historical treatment of aboriginals and has a lot of background information about how the European leaders destroyed aboriginal culture in an attempt to assimilate aboriginals into the Christian way of life (the norm). (I recall thst C.S. Lewis had to explain in an essay that 'Christian' is not synonymous with 'good person') The book sheds light of the systemic causes of Aboriginal unemployment and incarceration (there's a staggering variance of aboriginal to non aboriginal high school dropout rates), and we have our current political party issuing statements such as "One of the major drivers of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is lack of economic activity or, simply put, a lack of a job." And most of the country doesn't give a fuck because, guess what? They're not aboriginal and they have jobs - so nothing to fear! http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/call-o... From that link "a pre-Harper era Tory MP and former leader of the BC Conservatives, James Cummins, also indicated that doesn't see these cases resulting from a fundamental systemic issue—aside from their own poor judgement and "dangerous behaviour."" I think this is what the book in part explores. But, I mean, you either admit its a systemic issue or you commit your self to racial generalizations (in light of the statistical difference). http://www.pressprogress.ca/congratul... ---- All that being said, I think this book transcends the political issues. Its these issues and many more incarnate. The book never abuses its story and characters to preach politics and social issues.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joce (squibblesreads)

    Highly, highly recommended! The Outside Circle is a poignant exploration of the treatment of Aboriginal men and their incarceration, presented in an approachable graphic novel format. We so rarely see issues that the Aboriginal community faces in fiction that provides a lens of a wide and carefully researched worldview, but with this work, Patti Laboucane-Benson did just that. She has a PhD in human ecology, with a concentration in Aboriginal Family Resilience and that came to the forefront when Highly, highly recommended! The Outside Circle is a poignant exploration of the treatment of Aboriginal men and their incarceration, presented in an approachable graphic novel format. We so rarely see issues that the Aboriginal community faces in fiction that provides a lens of a wide and carefully researched worldview, but with this work, Patti Laboucane-Benson did just that. She has a PhD in human ecology, with a concentration in Aboriginal Family Resilience and that came to the forefront when describing the impact that Pete's experience in jail on his family. The story then takes a turn and begins to describe how the family and community allowed Pete to explore his own healing after his incarceration. While the focus is definitely on resilience in this part of the book, it does not dilute the powerlessness that the system can have on the First Nations community. Something else that really stood out to me was the artwork, done by Kelly Mellings. The illustrations involve a lot of the color red, which represented passion, rage, but also (to me) represented love and the blood ties that bind. I loved how she was able to portray the inner monologue of the main characters as well as including the importance of spiritual animals and spiritual traditions in the healing process. A big thank you to House of Anansi for providing a copy to me - it's definitely something I will be revisiting in the future.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chihoe Ho

    Many of the graphic novels I've read have turned out to be fun, light reads that have transported me to a different world and time. Sure, they may include some hard-hitting social issues and personal struggles beneath the narrative layers and illustrated frames, but never have they made me as uncomfortable in the reading process as "The Outside Circle" had. And when I say uncomfortable, I say it in the most respectful way. This graphic novel brings us, as Canadians, face front with something ver Many of the graphic novels I've read have turned out to be fun, light reads that have transported me to a different world and time. Sure, they may include some hard-hitting social issues and personal struggles beneath the narrative layers and illustrated frames, but never have they made me as uncomfortable in the reading process as "The Outside Circle" had. And when I say uncomfortable, I say it in the most respectful way. This graphic novel brings us, as Canadians, face front with something very important but usually ignored in Canadian society: the rights of the First Nations, the well-being and social position of the Aboriginal people, and the reconciliation of them with their heritage. Patti LaBoucane-Benson doesn't shy away from the issues; they are in your face and clearly called out – racism, poverty, sexual and domestic abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, gang violence. Also, her many years research and being involved with the In Search of Your Warrior program, of which I've never heard of but am now in appreciation that it exists with well intentions and outcomes, gives her a clear voice as to what she wants to achieve with this story. It's a challenge to not ignore that discomfort while coming in contact with these matters ailing the First Nations community and our Canadian society, but to come from a place of open understanding, freely discuss and tackle these problems, and ultimately go beyond the invisible lines to lend a hand in finding a healing balance for the First Nations. I've learnt a lot from "The Outside Circle", from the intergenerational pain of the Aboriginal people arising from a history of discrimination, to the physical and spiritual healing process through the In Search of Your Warrior program, sweat lodges and smudging. Going along with the theme of Canada Reads 2015, it being a graphic novel doesn't diminish any significance it has in breaking boundaries; it comes full circle on its own merits with the graphic presentation and what it has to say.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yannick Serres

    The Outside Circle was a first for me. I mean, I had never tried a graphic novel before. Even without having tried anything else, I can tell that this one was a real succes. The pictures, the story, the characters, everything was just perfect. Pete had a hard childhood. When being asked to draw his biological tree, he can only write down his mother and his brother. Drugs, physical abuses, gangs, that's what his life was made of. What had to happen happened, he found himself in jail after committi The Outside Circle was a first for me. I mean, I had never tried a graphic novel before. Even without having tried anything else, I can tell that this one was a real succes. The pictures, the story, the characters, everything was just perfect. Pete had a hard childhood. When being asked to draw his biological tree, he can only write down his mother and his brother. Drugs, physical abuses, gangs, that's what his life was made of. What had to happen happened, he found himself in jail after committing the irreparable. In jail, he decided to take charge of his life. He was chosen to follow the In Search of Your Warrior program, which will change his life. For the entire story, you got to read, or it would be more accurate to say watch, this book. It takes around an hour to go through the book, but it's an hour you will probably remember for the rest of your life. It touches a man soul and reminds you that life is short. There is no time to live in guilt and shame. You are a warrior, you got to fight, you got to forgive, you got to live and care for your siblings. Let the pass be and the future can only be brighter. You won't believe your eyes when you'll see the beauty of the draws in this graphic novel; and you won't believe your mind when you'll see how the authors have been able to make a light and easy to read, but profound, novel with such an emotive subject. I got to thank Patti Laboucane-Benson, Kelly Mellings and House of Anansi and Groundwood Books for this magnificent book I received through Goodreads giveaways.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    This graphic novel sure packs a punch and even caused me to shed a few tears, something few books have done. However, I am not a fan of graphic novels (this only being my second one if you don’t count Archie comics when I was a kid). I would have preferred to read this as a regular full-length novel to give it even more depth. But as graphic novels go, it was a quick, intense and emotional read that showed us how deep the damage is, the damage that Canada is responsible for in our Aboriginal peo This graphic novel sure packs a punch and even caused me to shed a few tears, something few books have done. However, I am not a fan of graphic novels (this only being my second one if you don’t count Archie comics when I was a kid). I would have preferred to read this as a regular full-length novel to give it even more depth. But as graphic novels go, it was a quick, intense and emotional read that showed us how deep the damage is, the damage that Canada is responsible for in our Aboriginal people. We need to make amends and try to heal our Nation and for that this book is important and I hope it becomes required reading in all high schools.

  9. 5 out of 5

    CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian

    Wow I've been reading a lot of great 5 star reads lately, this book included! Beautifully told and illustrated book about a young indigenous man in Edmonton healing from violence and colonization. It's got a lot of tough stuff in it but the overall tone is hopeful and healing. It made me cry. Highly recommended!

  10. 4 out of 5

    AleJandra

    4 HEALING STARS Pese a lo mucho que al mundo y los medios les gusta idolatrar a Canadá, la verdad es que Canadá tiene un pasado muy obscuro. Y lo peor que no es pasado en absoluto, es el presente de muchas personas. Los que venimos de países latinoamericanos sabemos como los imperios europeos vinieron a América a colonizar estos lugares y abusaron de nuestros ancestros indígenas. Pero en este momento solo lo vemos con un echo histórico, no como algo que nos afecte directamente nuestra vida diari 4 HEALING STARS Pese a lo mucho que al mundo y los medios les gusta idolatrar a Canadá, la verdad es que Canadá tiene un pasado muy obscuro. Y lo peor que no es pasado en absoluto, es el presente de muchas personas. Los que venimos de países latinoamericanos sabemos como los imperios europeos vinieron a América a colonizar estos lugares y abusaron de nuestros ancestros indígenas. Pero en este momento solo lo vemos con un echo histórico, no como algo que nos afecte directamente nuestra vida diaria. Por lo que para mi fue un shock enorme cuando escuché por primera vez sobre el abuso que sufren los pueblos indígenas de Canadá, en la actualidad. Me refiero a las Indian residential schools. Sin nunca han escuchado nada sobre este tema, esta novela es una muy buena introducción, nos muestra un poco de todo lo que sucedían en esas escuelas. Niños de hasta 4 y 5 años eran arrebatados de las manos de sus familias y llevados a internados, para “quitarles lo salvajes”, lugares donde los niños sufrían infinidad de abusos. Este libro trata de eso, vemos muchas historias basadas en personas reales, todas con el mismo patrón de sufrimiento. Una excelente novela, donde nos muestran que, aunque difícil es posible redimirse, y salir adelante. El año pasado el Primer Ministro se disculpo con las First Nations por todos los abusos que han sufrido por el gobierno canadiense, es un gran detalle, que se acepte la culpabilidad de lo que paso, y que se trate de sanar una nación que ha basado su prosperidad en el sufrimiento de sus indígenas.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    *3.75-4/5 stars* Personally, I know very little about the Aboriginal culture (despite living in Canada); this graphic novel provided lots of information that I wasn't aware, especially the statistics and the fact that the Aboriginal reserves/conflicts are still present today. However, at times I was confused plot-wise and with the terminology used by Aboriginal ceremonies. I also felt the graphic novel was too short, making the story line slightly rushed and under-developed. I love the artwork an *3.75-4/5 stars* Personally, I know very little about the Aboriginal culture (despite living in Canada); this graphic novel provided lots of information that I wasn't aware, especially the statistics and the fact that the Aboriginal reserves/conflicts are still present today. However, at times I was confused plot-wise and with the terminology used by Aboriginal ceremonies. I also felt the graphic novel was too short, making the story line slightly rushed and under-developed. I love the artwork and how Kelly Mellings differentiated the facial features of the Aboriginal characters. One thing that we're starting to see more in YA literature is cultural diversity (and LGBT+ themes), but there aren't very many regarding Aboriginals/Indians and their situation in today's world. This graphic novel is definitely an eye-opener. I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a book about Aboriginal cultures, or something different in general.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    In the entire history of humanity, has there ever been a positive story about what happened to the native/indigenous/aboriginal peoples of any land? Sigh. This graphic novel is targeted at an older teen plus audience, and I think it would make a good introduction for anyone who has not read anything about some of the issues explored here. Set in Canada, this story revolves around two brothers of aboriginal heritage struggling to find their way in the world. I really liked the art and the themes e In the entire history of humanity, has there ever been a positive story about what happened to the native/indigenous/aboriginal peoples of any land? Sigh. This graphic novel is targeted at an older teen plus audience, and I think it would make a good introduction for anyone who has not read anything about some of the issues explored here. Set in Canada, this story revolves around two brothers of aboriginal heritage struggling to find their way in the world. I really liked the art and the themes explored in this gritty bildungsroman, but my complaint is that it reads more like an brief, educational introduction to the First Nations history than a fictional story. The plot itself is a simple and straightforward one, but it is the historical facts and data thrown in that makes this worth reading for anyone interested in these important issues.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    It's rare that I give something a five star rating, but this graphic novel deserves it. Patti Laboucane-Benson is a Metis woman who lives in the Edmonton area. She works at the Native Counselling Services of Alberta. This book is excellent because it shows the cycle of poverty, abuse and how residential school impacts the lives of aboriginal people. The story features two aboriginal brothers, Joey and Pete. Pete ends up in jail and goes through the warrior program, which helps him explore his pa It's rare that I give something a five star rating, but this graphic novel deserves it. Patti Laboucane-Benson is a Metis woman who lives in the Edmonton area. She works at the Native Counselling Services of Alberta. This book is excellent because it shows the cycle of poverty, abuse and how residential school impacts the lives of aboriginal people. The story features two aboriginal brothers, Joey and Pete. Pete ends up in jail and goes through the warrior program, which helps him explore his past. I teared up several times while reading this book. The art by Kelly Mellings is excellent. It's done in a regular comic book style, and it suits the story. I think this book will appeal to a lot of people. People who don't know a lot about aboriginal history in Canada can learn about it by reading this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liam Johnstone

    I'd heard good reviews of this one, and Kelly, a friend of ours, did the art, so Kim and I decided to pick this up. I'm getting emotional just trying to figure out what to say about this book. It says a lot of things that I knew peripherally, but it shows you just what "Residential School" means. It's such a powerful book, and I can't imagine it was easy to write. The art augments the story in surprising ways, really driving home the anger and helplessness that the main character feels. I could not I'd heard good reviews of this one, and Kelly, a friend of ours, did the art, so Kim and I decided to pick this up. I'm getting emotional just trying to figure out what to say about this book. It says a lot of things that I knew peripherally, but it shows you just what "Residential School" means. It's such a powerful book, and I can't imagine it was easy to write. The art augments the story in surprising ways, really driving home the anger and helplessness that the main character feels. I could not recommend this book more highly, either if you are interested in knowing how badly we've failed in the past or if you, like me, were blissfully unaware. Probably moreso recommended to the second group.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Saleh MoonWalker

    قهرمان داستان در ابتدا دلنشین نیست. پیت که در کانادا زندگی میکنه، درگیر مسائل خلافه. به دوست دخترش احترام نمیزاره و وقتی که اون بهش میگه که بارداره، از ماشین میندازتش بیرون. دوست پسر مادر خودش رو میکشه و میره زندان.معتاد به هروئین هم هست. زندان هم براش تاثیری نداره تا با یه برنامه بازپروری آشنا میشه که راه جدید رو بهش نشون میده. توی این مسیر تلاش زیادی میکنه و به سوی رستگاری قدم برمیداره. تصویرگری های خلاقانه ای داره، مراحل بهبودی رو خوب به تصویر کشیده. میزان صداقت و آگاهی این کتاب خیلی بالاست و قهرمان داستان در ابتدا دلنشین نیست. پیت که در کانادا زندگی میکنه، درگیر مسائل خلافه. به دوست دخترش احترام نمیزاره و وقتی که اون بهش میگه که بارداره، از ماشین میندازتش بیرون. دوست پسر مادر خودش رو میکشه و میره زندان.معتاد به هروئین هم هست. زندان هم براش تاثیری نداره تا با یه برنامه بازپروری آشنا میشه که راه جدید رو بهش نشون میده. توی این مسیر تلاش زیادی میکنه و به سوی رستگاری قدم برمیداره. تصویرگری های خلاقانه ای داره، مراحل بهبودی رو خوب به تصویر کشیده. میزان صداقت و آگاهی این کتاب خیلی بالاست و این موارد رو هم به خواننده انتقال میده.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Humaira

    A fast paced, important, sad and alluring story. Very informative and eye opening.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    As a relative newcomer to the world of graphic novels, I was interested to read The Outside Circle, by Patti LaBoucane-Benson, which follows the story of Pete and Joey, brothers living on the fringe of gang life as First Nations youth in Alberta. And their story isn't an easy one. For a non-First Nations reader the realities of the Indian Acts and residential schools -- and their continued impacts on real people today -- are hard to face, and this novel really doesn't sugar-coat them. Some of th As a relative newcomer to the world of graphic novels, I was interested to read The Outside Circle, by Patti LaBoucane-Benson, which follows the story of Pete and Joey, brothers living on the fringe of gang life as First Nations youth in Alberta. And their story isn't an easy one. For a non-First Nations reader the realities of the Indian Acts and residential schools -- and their continued impacts on real people today -- are hard to face, and this novel really doesn't sugar-coat them. Some of the characters are hard to like, but they are portrayed so well that you find yourself rooting for them, and hoping things work out ok. And there are no guarantees of a happy ending. The reader is conscious that, as in real life, despite the efforts of those who want to right the wrongs of the past, Pete and Joey might fall through the cracks. The story is compelling, and moving, and real. The art, by Kelly Mellings, perfectly accompanies the story, and in some places takes over the narrative, expressing the unspoken and conveying the emotion of the story in a way words cannot. This is especially true in one particular full-page illustration, which through a combination of facts and images conveys Joey's transformation from a sweet, healthy boy to a hardened, angry young man. The artist's use of First Nations symbolism and images of spirit animals reinforces the inner conflicts of the characters, and provides this modern narrative a link to a cultural past. This is an important story. It's a cultural resource, a way to educate First Nations people about their own history. It's a societal resource, helping non-First Nations people understand the difficulties faces by a marginalized people today. And, it's also a really good read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Davis

    This is an excellent book. Excellent. It is one of the best depictions I know of the human cost of colonialism in Canada, of the generational impacts of the residential school system, poverty, abuse and marginalization. But as important as those facts are, the marvel of this book is how the healing can and should come from the traditions and healing medicine of Indigenous people. How wonderful it would be to have this book as required reading in schools. And, as someone who has spent time teachi This is an excellent book. Excellent. It is one of the best depictions I know of the human cost of colonialism in Canada, of the generational impacts of the residential school system, poverty, abuse and marginalization. But as important as those facts are, the marvel of this book is how the healing can and should come from the traditions and healing medicine of Indigenous people. How wonderful it would be to have this book as required reading in schools. And, as someone who has spent time teaching in prisons, may I also suggest it should be available there, and in juvenile detention centers. The text by Patti LaBoucane-Benson is crisp, clear, and tells a poignant story. The art by Kelly Mellings is perfect in tone and imagery. Well done. Highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ardo

    This is a book that everyone needs to read especially Canadians. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released their final report on the treatment of aboriginals in Canada (i.e. Residential Schools) and the effects which this books explores. An excellently timed read that is both important in the topic is discusses but also stunning to look at. Mellings' art is stellar with amazing panel work and colouring that packs the punch in LaBoucane-Benson's words. Please read it. Work needs to be This is a book that everyone needs to read especially Canadians. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released their final report on the treatment of aboriginals in Canada (i.e. Residential Schools) and the effects which this books explores. An excellently timed read that is both important in the topic is discusses but also stunning to look at. Mellings' art is stellar with amazing panel work and colouring that packs the punch in LaBoucane-Benson's words. Please read it. Work needs to be done to make a change in this country but to do so, we need to educate ourselves of the horrors committed by the native peoples in our country.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Marcus

    I finished, The Outside Circle A Graphic Novel by Patti LaBoucane-Benson and it was a really interesting and innovative read, I really liked it. The plot line was really creatively told and took a new spin on telling the missteps of the past and how they affect the future. The art was amazing! It was very thought provoking. The book has a lot of Native American imagery/ really well researched points: talking about the treaties, making the Pete’s mother give up Joey, the taking away native childr I finished, The Outside Circle A Graphic Novel by Patti LaBoucane-Benson and it was a really interesting and innovative read, I really liked it. The plot line was really creatively told and took a new spin on telling the missteps of the past and how they affect the future. The art was amazing! It was very thought provoking. The book has a lot of Native American imagery/ really well researched points: talking about the treaties, making the Pete’s mother give up Joey, the taking away native children from families to put them in residential schools where they are stripped of their native heritage, separated from their families and often times mistreated.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Stinson

    I’ve never been drawn to graphic novels, although friends have recommended a few, so when CNIB staff offered me The Outside Circle by Patti Laboucane-Benson and Kelly Melling, my initial impulse was to turn it down, to wait for a book more to my taste in reading. But I was intrigued by its subject matter, and it has proven a most satisfying read — for its character development and its insights into aboriginal rehabilitation programs. It will be a privilege to narrate this book for those who use I’ve never been drawn to graphic novels, although friends have recommended a few, so when CNIB staff offered me The Outside Circle by Patti Laboucane-Benson and Kelly Melling, my initial impulse was to turn it down, to wait for a book more to my taste in reading. But I was intrigued by its subject matter, and it has proven a most satisfying read — for its character development and its insights into aboriginal rehabilitation programs. It will be a privilege to narrate this book for those who use the CNIB library. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/th...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bookbabble

    The Outside Circle is such an important read, especially for Canadians looking for a fresh outlook of Native studies in Canada. It provides a gripping understanding of the mistreatment of indigenous people while providing a glimmer of hope for generations to come at the same time. The choice of medium (graphic novel) was very well thought out, and I hope it makes it more accessible for people to read. I really hope to see this piece enter our school curriculums to flesh out our knowledge of such The Outside Circle is such an important read, especially for Canadians looking for a fresh outlook of Native studies in Canada. It provides a gripping understanding of the mistreatment of indigenous people while providing a glimmer of hope for generations to come at the same time. The choice of medium (graphic novel) was very well thought out, and I hope it makes it more accessible for people to read. I really hope to see this piece enter our school curriculums to flesh out our knowledge of such a dark past, because I feel that we don't spend enough time learning about this in our school systems. Definitely go find a copy of this one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tanvir Alam

    It's a graphic novel about aboriginals, briefly who they are and who they were how the modern world changed themselves. The symbolism in the book is very deep and I had a great time reading this light novel. Doesn't take too long to finish and can definitely be an eye opener of how the world was and is for First Nation people. Overall, there are many life advice facts in this book and it's delightful to come across them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Reid

    A heartwrenching novelization about life as an Aboriginal in Canada. Historically informative as well as beautifully illustrated, it took me awhile to understand the significance of the mask the main character wore in certain situations, but it became clear as the novel went on. Well worth the read, especially for teenagers or adults who don't fully understand the cycle of abuse in Aboriginal Canadian society.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    Such a powerful story! The heredity of shame, guilt and powerlessness is so acutely shown in this story, through words and graphics. This story shows the importance of breaking the cycle and finding a way to healing. Truly a beautiful story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yolie

    Full of information: Indian Act, Residential Schools, lodges and smudges. Story follows two brothers as they attempt to navigate through the horrors of their childhood and the history of their people.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It is such a rich text. Every Canadian should read this to have a greater understanding of the plight of Indigenous people.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Powerful, effective storytelling and terrific format for presenting an important (abbreviated) history. Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Arielle

    If I had the power, I would place this beautiful, heart-breaking and important graphic novel in the hands of every teenager I could find.

  30. 5 out of 5

    MK King

    Gripping, emotionally compelling, and heartfelt. I cried three times during this graphic novel as the themes of poverty, abuse, trauma, and incarceration have touched the students at the school I work at in my native community. I was fortunate that my parents were loving and my childhood home was caring and supportive. The characters in this book all face cycles of inter generational trauma and violence. No spoilers but there is the presence of a respected Elder as a main character who uses tradi Gripping, emotionally compelling, and heartfelt. I cried three times during this graphic novel as the themes of poverty, abuse, trauma, and incarceration have touched the students at the school I work at in my native community. I was fortunate that my parents were loving and my childhood home was caring and supportive. The characters in this book all face cycles of inter generational trauma and violence. No spoilers but there is the presence of a respected Elder as a main character who uses traditional indigenous culture for healing purposes. The plot is complex. The art is beautifully rendered. I should also say that there is a high degree of authenticity as the author has worked with gang-affiliated and incarcerated indigenous men for 20 years.

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