THOSE WHO RUN IN THE SKY by Aviaq  Johnston
Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up
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A gem of an adventure novel grounded in Inuit myths and traditions.

Sixteen-year-old Piturniq is no longer a boy. Whether running with his sled dogs or waiting patiently to kill a seal, he is being watched by friends and family, all of whom have different desires for him. Old Tagaaq believes Pitu should be the next leader and begins pulling him aside for lessons. Saima cannot understand why Pitu is still waiting to make her his wife. When a great darkness descends, an old shaman tells Pitu stories of a blind shaman with incredible powers, and Pitu realizes his destiny is greater than he had imagined. He begins to have unsettling dreams, as his own nascent abilities emerge, until he is seized by an otherworldly blizzard. Beyond the veil of this world lies another, where water-dwelling creatures, an enormous black wolf, and a giant live. There, Pitu must seek an Inuit man who is trapped. Like all who become shamans, Pitu will come close to death, be tested in his strength, find his spirit guide, and sacrifice all to restore balance to his community. As he struggles to return from the spirit world, Pitu realizes sacrifices are necessary to protect the loved ones he holds dear. Lyrical writing, a suspenseful plot, and vivid illustrations make this a compelling read.

Full of wisdom, earth knowledge, and spiritual depth, this novel captures the spirit of Indigenous leadership. (glossary, author’s note) (Fiction. 12-adult)

Pub Date: March 8th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-77227-121-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Inhabit Media
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