OutsideCircleImage © Kelly Mellings

This graphic novel was sent to me by the artist, I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. It’s about Pete, a young Aboriginal man in Canada, and his younger brother Joey. I hadn’t seen the word “Aboriginal” applied to what we think of as Native Americans, but it does make sense. Pete is caught up in a world of crime and drugs, with no connection to his people or roots. Joey is heading the same way. When Pete goes to jail, he’s redirected to a rehabilitation center run by his people who try to reconnect him with the past that the Canadian government has spent many decades trying to eliminate.

While the art for this book is excellent, the story soon turns from the family drama to detailed information about Pete’s rehab and Aboriginal rediscovery. It seems intended for a particular audience of people like Pete and Joey rather than those of us on the outside of his situation, and I imagine if it reaches that audience will be a great thing for them. As a story, it gets well bogged down in the rehab process at times, but the family drama does eventually come to the fore again, and is well resolved.

Recommended, particularly to anyone interested in the topic.

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