Penumbra Press


New Releases


Browse Books
by Title
by Author
by Theme
by Series
by Genre

Order Form


Contact Info

Kids' Activities



View Print Version

Labelled with ICRA

Since 1979 logo

Kids' Activities

Jane Lind presents ...

My Name is Louis

By Janet Craig James

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 the lake.

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 it.

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.


1. Did 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 of life?

from the
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind

All contents © Penumbra Press and Northward Journal Communications Limited
1 King Ave E. PO Box 20011, Newcastle, Ontario, Canada, L1B 1M3

Contact Information