Wednesday, March 31, 2010
THE MIDDLE OF EVERYWHERE by Monique Polak
Noah is headed to the edge of nowhere. He is going to spend some time with his father who teaches at the Inuit school in George River located in northern Quebec. His mother thinks this will give him an opportunity to get to know the father he only hears from once a week by phone.
Leaving his active life in Montreal to head into a snow-filled wilderness, doesn't seem too thrilling. It doesn't take long for something to happen though. On his first day in George River, Noah decides to brave the frigid temperatures and go for a run. He offers to take his father's dog along so the animal can get some needed exercise. Just minutes into the run, a pickup truck races by and hits the dog throwing the animal into the air. Noah watches in horror as the dog hits the ground and then lies in a pool of blood. With the help of one of his father's friends, they take the dog back to the apartment and are able to assess the damage. With care and rest, it appears the dog will survive.
Noah's father insists that Noah get involved in the community as quickly as possible. He meets some of the locals at a storytelling event where he begins to see that fitting in will be a challenge. The Inuit people may be artful storytellers, but they are far from welcoming when it comes to the white man. Much of their history has been disrupted and damaged by the actions and interference of outsiders.
Author Monique Polak was inspired to write THE MIDDLE OF EVERYWHERE after traveling in northern Quebec. As she shares Noah's experiences, she is able to clearly describe the vast, snow-filled area that at first looks bleak and barren to Noah, but later becomes a place he is beginning to appreciate. This book has an interesting mix of people problems, action and adventure, as well as self-discovery. Readers get a glimpse into a part of the world most never experience.