Jane Lind presents ...
My Name is Louis
Theme: Native Experience, Young Adult
My Name is Louis
This is the story of a Native young man who experiences the lure of Toronto,
against the backdrop of his love of his home area in the North, especially
His inner conflict begins when a retired engineer from Toronto has a small
cabin built in the woods across from Louis's house. Louis is angry about it
and plans to burn it down, and though he comes close, he never manages to do
One night he discovers Matt prowling in the woods, just as Louis likes to
do, and this is the beginning of a friendship between the two. Louis is an
artist and loves drawing, and his pictures become the bridge to his
friendship with Matt, who takes him along on a trip to Toronto. There Matt
introduces Louis to a gallery director, who also appreciates Louis's gift,
and Louis is invited to live near Toronto, in Oakville, and help with the
gallery and show his work.
However, he returns home to discover his father was killed in a logging
accident, and this event changes everything. Louis and his brother draw
close to each other, and the reality of his life at home, and primarily his
love for his family and the lake makes him realize he cannot bring himself
to leave the North.
The author has created a thoughtful and sensitive main character who wins
the affection and empathy of the reader. Louis's choice at the end of the
book to stay in the North for the time being is completely in character with
the way he is portrayed--a completely satisfying conclusion.
Louis have valid reasons for not wanting Matt to have a house built across
the road? Why did Louis never get around to burning it down?
2. How were Matt and Louis similar? How were they different?
3. Before Louis went on the trip to Toronto, he decided to eat the piece of
pie his mother offered him even though he was not hungry. The novelist says,
"It was as if she wanted to make up for all the blank spaces in time when
she was in a different world." What does this mean?
4. Why did Louis feel so uncomfortable with his father?
5. Why do you think he changed his mind about moving to Toronto?
6. What do you think would have happened if Louis had decided to move to
Toronto? How would he have been able to adjust to completely different way
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind