I never would have picked this book for myself in a million years, or likely even, eternity. It found it’s way into my reading pile thanks to the school librarian. We were doing a lesson in art class on Ted Harrison and when I went to the library searching for examples of his artwork I incorrectly told the librarian we were doing an art project in the style of Tom Thomson. She said she would find some books for me and “Ahmek” was one of the books that she brought me, and specifically said that the book was really more for me than it was for the kids.
Ahmek, by Patrick Watson, is about a family of beavers that get separated thanks to a group of poachers that destroy their family dam. Tom Thomson is an artist mentioned in the story that sort of befriends the beaver. In real life Tom Thomson was one of the Group of Seven who died mysteriously. The book made some interesting connections between Tom Thomson’s style of painting and his relationship with the beavers.
Even though our librarian recommended the book for me I still had no intention of reading it. In fact once I realized that the stack of books she had collected for me was for Tom Thomson instead of Ted Harrison I tried to return Ahmek alongside the other books she had given me. However when I left the books in the return bin in the library she came to ask me the next day, Ahmek in hand, what I had thought of the book? I didn’t want to disappoint her and tell her I hadn’t read it so instead I said, “I returned that!? I haven’t even read it yet! Oops!” And that is exactly how Ahmek fell into my reading list this year – out of guilt.
It’s supposed to be a young adult book though I feel like aside from myself and the librarian no one else has ever checked this book out of the library. It was very much along the lines of a folk story, but it was good. It wasn’t nail biting, or all that gripping. It was pretty easy to pick it up and put it down as I so felt. In the end though I finished the book while I was in North Dakota and closed the book thinking it was a good story. Would I recommend it to someone? Not necessarily. It was alright, but will likely not go down in my list of all time favorite books. I’m not really that surprised to see that Chapters has it on sale on their website for only $2.00. That being said I am glad I got a little out of my typical comfort zone and read something different than normal.