Good for Nothing

Good for Nothing

Written by: Noel, Michel
ages 12 to 15 / grades 7 to 10

Winner of the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction

The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he's a good-for-nothing who, like all Indians, can look forward to a life of drunkenness, prison and despair.

The reserve, however, offers nothing to Nipishish. He remembers little of his late mother and father. In fact, he seems to know less about himself than the people at the band office. He must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father's death.

Winner of the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction

The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he's a good-for-nothing who, like all Indians, can look forward to a life of drunkenness, prison and despair.

The reserve, however, offers nothing to Nipishish. He remembers little of his late mother and father. In fact, he seems to know less about himself than the people at the band office. He must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father's death.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — May 1, 2004
Specifications 324 pages | 4.25 in x 7 in
Supporting Resources
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Excerpt
Teacher's Guide
Written By Michel Noel is the author of several award-winning books for young people. He now lives in Quebec City.
Audience ages 12 to 15 / grades 7 to 10
Key Text Features table of contents

Winner, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, 2005

Short-listed, McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award, 2005

Commended, CCBC Our Choice, 2005

Commended, IBBY Honor List, 2006

“[An] inspiring story by an authority on native affairs...” —VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

“[Michel Noel] has crafted a story of pain and triumph, with both universal appeal and cultural authenticity. Tanaka's accomplished translation introduces an award-winning Canadian author to an English-speaking audience, and all libraries should take note.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Michel Noel...knows his craft...the text is extremely accessible.” —Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

"[Michel Noel] has crafted a story of pain and triumph, with both universal appeal and cultural authenticity. Tanaka's accomplished translation introduces an award-winning Canadian author to an English-speaking audience, and all libraries should take note." — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"Michel Noel...knows his craft...the text is extremely accessible." — Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

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