Five Little Indians

A Novel

    • 4.5 • 459 Ratings
    • $13.99
    • $13.99

Publisher Description

WINNER: Canada Reads 2022

WINNER: Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction

WINNER: Amazon First Novel Award

WINNER: Kobo Emerging Author Prize 

Finalist: Scotiabank Giller Prize

Finalist: Atwood Gibson Writers Trust Prize

Finalist: BC & Yukon Book Prize

Shortlist: Indigenous Voices Awards

National Bestseller; A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year; A CBC Best Book of the Year; An Apple Best Book of the Year; A Kobo Best Book of the Year; An Indigo Best Book of the Year

Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention.

Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.

Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can’t stop running and moves restlessly from job to job—through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps—trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew.

With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward. 

Fiction & Literature
April 14
Harper Perennial
Harper Collins Canada Limited

Customer Reviews

Big frosty K ,

I eat pooo

Yum poo

Bharathi Sandhu ,

Five Little Indians

A realistic, eye opening piece of fiction that creates empathy in the heart of the reader. Keep your phone close as you’ll want to google things as you work your way through.

MaryJolie614 ,

This book should be mandatory reading for all Canadians!

This historical fiction book about the residential schools should be mandatory reading for all Canadians. I’m this story the author focuses on the lives of five aboriginal survivors from these school. You see the effects of physical, sexual abuse from the catholic church to these children some of them even died from the malnutrition, humiliation and beatings imposed on them. You see the damaging effects these schools had on their families who weren’t allowed to visit and communicate with them. These schools also left a damaging legacy to these kids who were uprooted from their community and culture and released into society without any help from the government to integrate, find a job, find a place to live. While the native Canadians still have to reap the devastation from these schools. I think the Government and the Catholic Church should be pursued for the atrocities done to assimilate and destroy the aboriginal community in Canada.

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