Book cover of Walking In Two Worlds

Walking In Two Worlds



Publisher & Publication Year

Penguin, 2021

Publisher's Book Page


Wab Kinew (Onigaming First Nation)

Author's Website 




In the real world, Bugz is a shy and self-conscious Indigenous teen who faces the stresses of teenage angst and life on the Rez. But in the virtual world, her alter ego is not just confident but dominant in a multiplayer video game universe. Feng is a teen boy who has been sent from China to live with his aunt, a doctor on the Rez, after his online activity suggests he may be developing extremist sympathies. Meeting in real life and the virtual world, Bugz and Feng immediately relate to each other as outsiders and as avid gamers. As their connection is strengthened through their virtual adventures, they find that they have much in common in the real world, too: both must decide what to do in the face of temptations and pitfalls, and both must grapple with the impacts of family challenges and community trauma. But betrayal soon threatens everything Bugz has built in the virtual world, as well as her relationships in the real world, and it will take all her newfound strength to restore her friendship with Feng and reconcile the parallel aspects of her life: the traditional and the mainstream, the east and the west, the real and the virtual.

Notable Achievements

A Quill & Quire Kids' Book of the Year (2021)


Publishers Weekly: "This smart, entertaining speculative novel gives readers a unique and moving portrait of young life—and the possibilities for gaming life—from a tribally specific corner of the world."

Kirkus Reviews: "A thrilling, high-tech page-turner with deep roots."

Booklist: "Kinew’s first novel for teens stands out in the field of speculative fiction with its respectful, celebratory, and nuanced exploration of cultures and communities all too often at risk of erasure."

Educator Guide

This guide was created by Métis educator April Waters, and includes discussion questions and extension activities.

Link to Guide

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