Misewa Saga review

Every once in a while a children’s fantasy series comes along that sweeps both youth and adults alike off their feet. This is the case with David Robertson’s Misewa Saga trilogy. These books came onto my radar last year and I picked up the first two books for my eleven year old son. We were both instantly hooked with book one, The Barren Grounds.

Book one introduces us to Morgan and Eli, two indigenous youth in foster care, who happen upon a portal to another world. They step inside to find out that they are not the first humans to step through the portal and that the last time it happened the summer birds were stolen, launching Misewa into a forever winter. Morgan and Eli decide to go on a thrilling adventure to help the magical creatures of Misewa get their four seasons back.

In book two, The Great Bear, Morgan and Eli head back through the portal, but this time traveling back in time. Once again they team up with these creatures who have now become like family, to help save Misewa from the great bear that has been destroying every village. This time Robertson decided to end the book on a big cliff hanger, which brings us to the book that wraps up Morgan’s journey.

The Stone Child is the final book in this trilogy and it is jam packed full of emotions. It’s a rush against time to help save Eli. The only way to save him is to venture into the northern woods, which is the one spot that they’ve always been warned to never enter. With the help of friends, Morgan sets out to do everything she can to save her brother.

There are so many reasons to love these books. To start, these Narnia inspired books hook young readers in with a fantastical adventure. We meet animal creatures who walk and talk. Time works differently once they enter the portal, this is a small detail that occupied a lot of my son’s attention because he loved doing the math and then would speak about how he would use his “Aski time”. The thing I loved the most about these books however were the conversations that they opened up. Morgan and Eli feel disconnected from their culture but as soon as they enter that portal they are fully immersed into Cree culture. They learn the language, they go to the trapline and learn how to live off the land. As readers we were able to learn a lot about Cree culture in a way that’s not achievable through textbooks.

In book two Robertson brings in the topic of bullying. As a parent the scenes were heartbreaking to read, as a child they were frustrating, but it opened up the flood gates to a big conversation about what bullying looks like and how to stop it.

I truly feel that these books would be a great addition to any classroom library (ages 10+). I am grateful for everything we learned about the Cree culture and language through these pages. Mostly however, I am grateful for all the conversations these books opened up with my son and the opportunity it gave me to stop and have these conversations with him. I also have to give Robertson a small nod for all of his pop culture, specifically Star Wars, references throughout the books, it was a nice touch.

The Barren Grounds; The Great Bear; The Stone Child (Penguin Random House) by David Robertson are all available now.

Meredith is a Disney obsessed stay-at-home mom. When she’s not planning a trip, you’ll find her with her nose in a book. Follow her on Instagram.