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Shin-chi's Canoe

Written by Nicola I. Campbell

Illustrated by Kim Lafave

  • 40 Pages
  • 9780888998576
  • 8.130" x 8.500"
  • Reading age from 4 to 7
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Canada / Native Canadian
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / New Experience

$13.27 $18.95

Publication Date August 01, 2008

Winner of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and finalist for the Governor General's Award: Children's Illustration

This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.

As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko tells her brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the mountains, the rivers and the salmon. Shin-chi knows he won't see his family again until the sockeye salmon return in the summertime. When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko gives him a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from their father.

The children's time is filled with going to mass, school for half the day, and work the other half. The girls cook, clean and sew, while the boys work in the fields, in the woodshop and at the forge. Shin-chi is forever hungry and lonely, but, finally, the salmon swim up the river and the children return home for a joyful family reunion.

Winner of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award 2009

Short-listed for the Chocolate Lily Award - Picture Book 2008

Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Awards: Illustration 2008

Short-listed for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award (CCBC) 2009

Long-listed for the OLA Silver Birch Express 2009


Nicola I. Campbell
Nicola I. Campbell is Interior Salish and Metis, and she grew up in British Columbia's Nicola Valley. She is the author of Shi-shi-etko (Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year) and Shin-chi's Canoe (TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, Governor General's Award Finalist for Illustration, USBBY Outstanding International Books), both illustrated by Kim LaFave. Nicola lives in Vancouver.

Kim Lafave
Kim LaFave has won the Governor General's Award, the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for his illustrations in Amos’s Sweater by Janet Lunn. He illustrated Shin-chi's Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell, which was a finalist for the Governor General's Award. He lives in Roberts Creek, B.C.


"LaFave's digitally colored pencil sketches contrast the austerity of boarding-school life with the natural beauty of the children's home." Book Links

"Kim LaFave's illustrations for this book are...bold and evocative accompaniment to a powerful text." Globe and Mail

"LaFave's striking yet soft digital illustrations are appropriately somber and deftly capture the mood with subtle earth tones on each page...This realistic, tender story [is] an accessible and important contribution to Native literature." School Library Journal

"This book is an important addition to this literature with its intertwining of historical fact with an engaging narrative and evocative illustrations." CM Magazine