Book cover of Borders




Publisher & Publication Year

Little Brown, 2021

Publisher's Book Page


Thomas King

Author's Website 


Natasha Donovan (Métis)



On a trip to visit his older sister, who has moved away from the family home on the reserve to Salt Lake City, a young boy and his mother are posed a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. Are you Canadian, the border guards ask, or American? The mother answers: “Blackfoot.” When border guards will not accept their citizenship, mother and son wind up trapped in an all-too-real limbo between nations that do not recognize who they are.

Notable Achievements

Boston Globe: Horn Book Honor Book Award for Fiction and Poetry, 2022; Short-listed, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, 2022; Nominee, Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award for Northern Lights, 2023; Nominee, Walter Dean Myers Award for Younger Readers, 2022; Nominee, Rocky Mountain Book Award, 2023; People Magazine Best Book, Fall 2021


Publishers Weekly: "This sobering yet inspiring tale effectively spotlights a Native woman who quietly demands that her voice be heard and her identity recognized."

Kirkus Reviews: "The story highlights both the universal feelings of a family moving apart and a very specific Indigenous experience: The Blackfoot have existed since before the border, and now they are artificially split into two sides, an absurdity captured here with trenchant, cutting wryness."

School Library Journal: "An important and accessible modern tale about the ongoing lack of recognition by colonizers for the Indigenous communities who continue to exist on their ancestral lands."

Booklist: "King deftly balances tension and absurdity, and in the process, he wryly points to not only the arbitrariness of the border in general but the divisions that it imposes. Subtle and smart, this laconic graphic novel will linger with readers."

The Horn Book: "The ­thematic and literary richness of this story is exhilarating, unsettling the insistent binary of American/Canadian nationalities for the lived reality of Indigenous nationhood."

Educator Guide

This guide, created by Indigenous writer Karen McBride, includes discussion questions and activities designed to connect the book with various curriculum areas.

Link to Guide

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