2017 Classic Family Read

It's all about enjoying a Great Canadian novel—together. The idea behind this program is a simple one: over the summer, Burlington residents read a work of Canadian fiction chosen by a panel of local book lovers, and then come together for a variety of activities and special events planned around the themes of the book in the fall. For news and updates follow us on Twitter #1book1burlington

Get involved! Tell us what book you recommend for One Book One Burlington 2018

The 'One Book' for 2017: Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

“Our 11th edition of One Book One Burlington speaks to a profoundly disturbing chapter in Canada’s history through a compelling and eloquent voice. It is a story of communal trauma and recovery that warrants a broader community conversation.” ~ Maureen Barry, CEO, Burlington Public Library.

Reserve a copy of the book for yourself or your book club

Indian Horse Program & Book Discussion Guide: view & print PDF or view on issuu

Unabridged Book Discussion Guide for Indian Horse

In praise of Indian Horsebook cover

Voted Top Pick by CBC Books, The great Canadian reading list: 150 Canadian books to read for Canada 150 - 21 July 2017

"Indian Horse is a force for healing in our beautiful, broken world.” ~ Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel, Dec 8, 2011

"Wagamese pulls off a fine balancing act: exposing the horrors of the country’s residential schools while also celebrating Canada’s national game." ~ Quill & Quire, Feb 13, 2012

"Richard Wagamese is a master storyteller, who blends the throb of life with spiritual links to the land, hard work, and culture to find success, his words take you into the soul of Indian Horse, to experience his pain, his growing resentments, his depression, and his fear which has to be faced if he is to regain the joy of life. This book is meant for youth, adults, and elders, to be shared, to be lived, and to be treasured for the clear message of hope and the need to go the distance." ~ Wawatey News, Mar 1, 2012

Literary Awards for Indian Horse

About Indian Horse

One Book One Burlington 2017 trailer (YouTube)

Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. His last binge almost killed him, and now he’s a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, surrounded by people he’s sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly comes to see that he’ll find it only through telling his story. With him, readers embark on a journey back through the life he’s led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows.

With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he’s sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement.

'Indian Horse' unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man.

Source: Douglas & McIntyre

About the Author

richard wagamese, royal roads universityRichard Wagamese (1955–2017), an Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario, was recognized as one of Canada's foremost First Nations authors and storytellers.

His debut novel, Keeper 'n Me, came out in 1994 and won the Alberta Writers Guild's Best Novel Award. In 1991, he became the first Indigenous writer to win a National Newspaper Award for column writing. He twice won the Native American Press Association Award for his journalism and received the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for his 2011 memoir, One Story, One Song. In 2012, he was honoured with the Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media and Communications, and in 2013 he received the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize. In 2015, he won the Matt Cohen Award, a recognition given out by the Writers' Trust of Canada that honours writers who have dedicated their entire professional lives to the pursuit of writing.

In total, he authored fifteen books including Indian Horse (2012), the 2013 People's Choice winner in CBC's Canada Reads competition, and his final book, a collection of Ojibway meditations, Embers (2016), received the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award. (Source: Douglas & McIntyre)

The 'One Book' Story

Based on the international One Book, One Community program, One Book One Burlington promotes the joy the reading, celebrates Canadian literary talent, and provides an enriching and entertaining literature-based community experience. The Library launched its first annual citywide reading program for older teens and adults in spring 2007.

Community Selection Team

Our community team is made up of our community partners and volunteer residents of Burlington.

Community Partners: Art Gallery of Burlington, A Different Drummer Books, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

Many thanks to our volunteer selectors for your enthusiasm and generous donation of time—we couldn't do it without you!