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Pemmican Wars

(A Girl Called Echo #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,240 ratings  ·  265 reviews
Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee’s lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie—a ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published December 5th 2017 by HighWater Press
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MissBertschTree I would say from ages 12- 15 would be a comfortable age for this Graphic Novel
MissBertschTree It would appear that Echo stakes a look at 7 Generations by David Alexander Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson. I believe it is published by…moreIt would appear that Echo stakes a look at 7 Generations by David Alexander Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson. I believe it is published by Portage Main & Press(less)

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Dave Schaafsma
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pemmican Wars (A Girl Named Echo) is a Canadian comic, a very thin first volume in a comics series about a girl named Echo Desjardins, who is of Métis descent. (The Métis of Canada are of mixed First Nations and European ancestry.) Echo is in foster care as her mother is in au specified care facility. She’s going to a new school, and blocks everything out there through the music in her headphones. She’s also disconnected to her own history, but a cool History teacher, just beginning a unit on th ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Canadian History Teachers
Shelves: netgalley, series
Thanks to Netgalley and Portage & Main Press for an advanced reader copy. Publication Date March 1st, 2018

A new graphic novel series that focuses on the audience learning more about Métis history. The illustrations are beautiful and I can see that this book is going to be a hit among educators. At 48 pages, I sure wish it had been longer, but it is a great start.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The story of a quiet foster kid starting in a new high school. Her history teacher is teaching them about the Pemmican Wars and about Echo's people the Metis. I like how the story is mainly told by the artwork. I also liked how Echo's reading transports her back in time to the time she's learning about. The book is very short and decompressed. ...more
Well on an entirely aesthetic level, I absolutely do majorly adore Scott B. Henderson’s descriptive artwork (as well as Donovan Yaciuk’s sense and use of colour) for the 2017 graphic novel Pemmican Wars (pictures that for me totally do visually capture not only young Métis student Echo’s present life but also her amazement at being repeatedly catapulted back in time to the so called Pemmican Wars of Western Canada or what is now Western Canada and the sadness and terror of the Battle of Seven Oa ...more
This was an interesting way to present history and I hope the next issue focuses more on Echo herself.
Elizabeth A
May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, graphix, kids-ya
I loved history as a kid, but how it was taught in school bored me to tears, and unfortunately this series reminded me of those school days.

This graphic novel series gets points for being #OwnVoices, and educating teens about the history of the Métis in what is now Canada. Echo Desjardins is a 13-year-old Métis girl having a hard time adjusting to her new life. She also knows nothing about the history of her people. One day in history class, she suddenly finds herself transported to another time
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Scott B Henderson is a solid illustrator. His work is featured prominently across the indigenous graphic novel spectrum.

Unfortunately I thought Vermette’s storytelling was a little lacking. I wanted to know more about the main character Echo. Why is she at a new highschool ? Why is she estranged from her mother ? Why doesn’t she know much about her Metis culture ?

The book was very short and if some of these background details were included it would have beefed up the page count.

I’m looking for
Maggie Gordon
One of the most frustrating trends with graphic novels lately is how many of them, particularly those aimed at youth, are so short that they can't deliver a satisfying story. Sure, the entire tale might be too long to tell in a single book, but each volume should have its own weight. Pemmican Wars gives us a brief introduction to Echo, a young Metis teen who seems to teleport to the past when she daydreams. It's an intriguing plot mechanism with plenty of room for educational possibilities, thou ...more
Laura Tenfingers
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
A graphic novel where we follow a Metis girl living in foster care, disconnected from her heritage, as she learns about her people's history in school. We spend time in the present and in the past as she's transported there.

I didn't realize it was only 47 pages long, one of the drawbacks of reading an ereader... But it was a good intro. I'm not sure why all volumes aren't rolled in to one? I'm going to keep reading them and see where this takes usamd her.

I learned something new and it's a great
Echo Desjardins has just started at a new school, where she is struggling to fit in. In her history class, after an initial lecture on the Metis, she finds herself transported to another time and place, unsure of what happened and what it means for her.

This is the first volume in a series - it definitely piqued my interest, and I'm curious to see where it goes in the future.

I received access to this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 Stars This is only volume 1 and pretty short to get a good feel of the characters, but I thought it was an intriguing start and I'm curious to know what happens next. I had also never heard of the Pemmican Wars or the Metis people of Canada so I like the diversity that it brings.

Popsugar 2020 Challenge - A book on a subject you know nothing about
A start to a series that shows a bit of Metis history. The author focuses on a teen named Echo who seems disconnected from those around her. The author takes Echo from present day to the early 1800s and back again, allowing her to interact with a girl of similar age in the past. Echo sees tensions and racism in the interactions between the North-West Company (a rival to the Hudson's Bay Company) and the Metis. The artwork is really good, and at 48 pages, the story was short, but looked like it w ...more
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
The artwork is absolutely beautiful (especially the vibrant colours). I love seeing schools teaching Canadian history and acknowledging everything done to Metis but also looking at the loss of identity a lot of ppl have after Residential Schools, multigenerational trauma and The 60s Scoop.
Too short. Doesn't tell much of a story, especially for an $18.95 cover price. I wish the writer would have waited until she had a more substantial amount of content. Volume 2 appears to be just as short. ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I found this volume in a bookstore and raced who could read it faster. The story seemed good and the art style is beautiful but I think I would need to read more volumes to start really getting invested.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Too short; I hope the next vol. is longer. Beautiful illustration, particularly when it comes to the coloring.
Carolyn Klassen
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Cool concept, definitely so useful for an educational setting/purpose.
Echo’s the new kid at school, and as is often the case it’s alienating, even more so because her mother has been institutionalised – nearby, in Winnipeg, but still distant from daily life. Her history classes take on a strange reality through her daydreaming where her distance takes on a new form, as she time travels to experience Métis life before colonisation by Canada (Métis being one of three groups classed as Indigenous in the lands claimed by Canada). It’s the first decade of the 19th cent ...more
Victoria Peipert
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel exceeded my expectations. I thought the story was unique and very well done as the beginning of a series - it was not nearly long enough and I can't wait to read the next one! ...more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to na by: Petra
now this is interesting... i'll look up more to it. ...more
Emily Hays
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars
The Pemmican Wars is the first of a teen graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo. It follows Echo, a Metis girl who discovers while day dreaming that she can travel in time to a group of Metis people. Through this, she discovers the strain her people went through during the Pemmican Wars in North America.
I really loved Katherena Vermette's adult novel, The Break. And while I really enjoyed this, I think it was a tad too short to really grab the attention of a teenager. The illustrati
Darcy Roar
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphics, teen
This series feels like it has a ton of potential but it just get rolling very well in book 1. On one hand I rather liked that. The book has lots of similar panels with very little dialogue but it really puts the readers into what Echo is feeling, the isolation and depressive environment of it at least. I like the fantastical bits & I very much want to know where the story is going, but again, there just isn't much here yet. 4/5 for potentially good bones, 3/5 for actual content with high hopes f ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED it. It is about 13 year old Echo. She's living apart from her mom, and is just starting at a new school. She's learning about the Pemmican Wars in school, and finds herself transported back to that time period on several occasions. I love the Indigneous point of view - this is exactly what's missing in so many of our history resources! I also loved that there was a teacher who uses Mx and they pronouns.

I will definitely be looking to add this to my own library at some point, as well as t
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: aoc, ya-mg, graphic-novel
This is a very slim graphic novel. I'm used to reading more in one go, and because of its thinness, I never felt sucked into the story. I did really like the main character, a 13-year-old Metis girl starting a new school. ...more
A comic/graphic novel about Indigenous/Metis history. A little bit of magical realism. I am anxious about the next volume, as this one just suddenly ends.

Adriyanna Zimmermann
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

PEMMICAN WARS is the first graphic novel in the A GIRL CALLED ECHO series by Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson, and Donovan Yaciuk. Echo, a young Métis girl, finds herself slipping back in time as she learns about the Pemmican Wars in school (1812-1821, Saskatchewan). The incredible artwork tells Echo’s story; a young teen struggling with her own identity and culture, and adjusting to a new school with a foster family. Traveling to the past allows Echo to learn about
Melissa Orth
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel from Canada gets props for being written by and featuring a Métis woman. It follows a clearly lonely and depressed high school teen named Echo as she navigates life in a new school, new group home, and the travel to and from. The travel also includes strange interludes in which she finds herself back in time to the early 1800s when British colonists and military leaders were fighting other nationals and the Métis are caught in the middle. As an American, I didn’t learn this pa ...more
Sky Rose Reviews
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs

ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

This is going to be a shorter review than I would normally write since this is a 50 page graphic novel rather than a full 400+ page novel. In its short pages, Pemmican Wars manages to combine a series of beautiful illustrations of both past and present. Echo is a fantastic representation of feeling lost and disconnected from your past in a country that is at once
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have been wanting to read more comics and graphic novels, so the reading rush was the perfect opportunity to do so! This was a really beautiful, informative and interesting comic. It's about a girl named Echo who is in the foster system. She is in a new school and doesn't know anyone and she is very sad to be away from her mom. She begins having dreams that take her back to the early 1800's during the pemmican wars. The artwork is absolutely stunning and I learned a lot about the metis people, ...more
Emily Cait
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
A lot of things didn't come together for me here.

I didn't love the art and there are a lot of pages entirely without text or dialogue, so you kinda have to like looking at the art. I learned more about our protagonist Echo from the blurb on the back than the story itself. And the history of the Pemmican Wars (which I think is supposed to be the big thing we're learning about) is sparse. I would have loved more time spent in the past learning about the history.
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Katherena Vermette is a Canadian writer, who won the Governor General's Award for English-language poetry in 2013 for her collection North End Love Songs. Vermette is of Metis descent and from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was a MFA student in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

Her children's picture book series The Seven Teachings Stories was published by Portage and Main Press in 2

Other books in the series

A Girl Called Echo (4 books)
  • Red River Resistance
  • Northwest Resistance
  • Road Allowance Era

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