Secret Path

Secret Path

Book - 2016
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The story of Chanie Wenjack(misnamed Charlie by his teachers), a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.
Publisher: New York City ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, 2016, ℗♭2016.
Edition: Simon & Schuster Canada edition.
ISBN: 9781501155949
Characteristics: 88 unnumbered pages :,chiefly colour illustrations ;,31 cm
Additional Contributors: Lemire, Jeff - Illustrator


From Library Staff

Secret Path is a ten song digital download album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire that tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.

Chanie, misnamed Charlie ... Read More »

Also available as an ebook, downloadable video. There is a soundtrack available, too.

From the critics

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Mar 02, 2018

Oct 29, 2017

Secret Path is a Jeff Lemire graphic novel with an accompanying Gord Downie soundtrack. Together they tell the true story of Chanie "Charlie" Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died while fleeing the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.

SCL_Heather Jul 24, 2017

This is a tragic story but I don't think you would learn much about it from this work if you didn't already know it. I admire what Gord Downie is trying to do by raising awareness of the horror of residential schools but I think the execution is weak.

"The Secret Path written by Gordon Downie (from Tragically Hip) and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, devastated me, just reflecting on the tragic story of 12 year old Chanie Wenjack makes me want to cry. This book so beautify and powerfully tales the story of his life and untimely death in October of 1966. And yet it is books or art or the intricate dance of both, that heal and make us grateful that we allow ourselves to be tender, to feel, to cry, and to be real. To regret what was done in the past and be inspired to insure that the future is a better place for our children and the all children who working so hard this Summer Reading Club to get their first or their 12th medal. My heart aches as I wish, with all of my being that I could travel through time and space, to help Chanie home. To be with his loved ones, to share Batman #189 with him and give him a medal for reading for 49 days during the summer of 1967.

The residential schools were a dark chapter in history, just like the concentration camps were a dark chapter in history, I am grateful for books that remind us of what I pray we as a world population moving beyond the mistakes of our past will never let happen again and inspire me for what we all can bring about in the next 150 years with respect, love and tears."
- Inti

May 27, 2017

Chanie Wenjack and all the children should not be forgotten. We owe them their stories and more.

This is a beautifully done tribute to a brave, tortured, saddened young boy who only wanted to go home. I was surprised that Chanie's story ended in 1966. I thought the Residential schools had ended years before this.

These stories must come out. For years we've heard of the Residential Schools, yet in vague terms. The stories of those who lived the experience have yet to be told. Chanie's story is heart-breaking. He should have been a happy, healthy boy growing to adulthood. Instead, he was a scared, hungry, cold child who died while trying to get home.

This graphic novel with the lyrics of 10 dedicated songs is a lovely tribute. It brings out Chanie's fears and suffering. It also gives him the peace he deserves. I hope Chanie's real story ended with peace.

May 20, 2017

This is a very big book, but since the illustrations are simple and repetitive, the space is wasted. Their is no narration or dialogue, only the lyrics, which are okay. I was already familiar with the story (what's next: McDonald's plastic toys with your happy meal?) An example of cultural misappropriation, have a look before the thought police burn all the copies of this book.

Mar 07, 2017

Downie and Lemire craft a beautiful and heartbreaking take on Chanie Wenjack's story.

SquamishLibraryStaff Jan 07, 2017

Haunting and beautifully illustrated, 'The secret path" tells the tragic story of Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe child, who escapes his residential school and attempts to walk back home.

Jan 05, 2017

Beautifully illustrated with Gord's songs throughout. I highly recommend reading while listening the the accompanying album.

Marlowe Dec 29, 2016

Jeff Lemire's ghostly illustrations perfectly compliment the stirring lyrics by Gord Downie, in this tragic graphic novel. Retelling isn't the right word, because I believe many Canadian's (including myself) had never before heard the story of Chanie Wenjack. Here, Downie and Lemire confront Canada's past, one which has been hidden and ignored, though so important. An aboriginal child, Chanie was taken from his family to a Residential School. This novel tells of his escape in an effort to find home. As mentioned, Downie offers the readers songs to accompany the illustrations. Downie has released these songs, and I highly suggest you listen n order to fully experience the story.

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