I’m a big fan of graphic novels and The Outside Circle is one of the most important books (graphic or otherwise) that I read this year. Patti LaBoucane-Benson wrote this fictional story about two Aboriginal brothers who grow up in poverty and violence based on her experiences working at the Native Counselling Services of Alberta. The story follows Pete as he hits rock-bottom, drawn into a gang and finding himself in jail, but finds support and inspiration to try and overcome his traumatic past. Sometimes you could expect a project like this to be too didactic to be enjoyed as fiction and art but this book does not fall into that category. Immensely readable, heartbreaking, and powerful.
Michelle is the Collection Librarian and the Adult Fiction Selector at the Greater Victoria Public Library.
And that's a wrap! Thanks to all those who shared their favourite books of the year with us. :)