Jonny Appleseed is a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man who returns to the reserve to be with his mother for his stepfather’s funeral. He has been living in the big city—trying to make ends meet as a cybersex worker—but he must now return home, face his past, and reconcile with his former life. Joshua Whitehead tells the story of a groundbreaking First Nations character in Canadian literature, a character he relates to closely. Appropriate for senior secondary students, this story represents a youth who is trying to come to terms with who he is, despite many societal pressures. In the classroom, “Jonny Appleseed” is suitable as a class novel or as an independent novel study, illuminating First Nations issues while dismantling stereotypes. Additionally, the novel’s effective use of allusions can be researched to discover how they contribute to character development.
Penguis First Nation
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English Language Arts