On The Trapline

A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, “Is this your trapline?” Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago — a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child’s wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.

Distinctions: Winner, 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature — Illustrated books.

Ideal for:
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation September 30, National Indigenous History Month June, National Indigeous Peoples Day June 21.

Promenade des contes title: Ligne de trappe.

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On the Trapline. Text © 2021 David A. Robertson Illustrations © 2021 Julie Flett. Reproduced by permission of Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, a Penguin Random House Company, Toronto.

An outstanding contribution to the literature about family, intergenerational friendship, remembrance, community, [and] Indigenous experience.


Robertson’s text is as spare as Flett’s artwork, leaving plenty of space for readers to feel the emotions evoked by both.


Lesson Plan

The Lesson Plan for On The Trapline is available with purchase and sent to an email address provided by the school board. To view a sample Lesson Plan, click on the file below. It is based on “Trampoline Boy”.

Sample Lesson Plan
On The Trapline lesson plan cover

Book Creators

David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson portrait

David A. Robertson is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone (illustrated by Julie Flett), which won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award and was nominated for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. He is the author of The Barren Grounds, the first in a middle-grade fantasy series called The Misewa Saga. A sought-after speaker and educator, David is a member of Norway House Cree nation and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Julie Flett

Julie Flett portrait

Julie Flett is a Swampy Cree and a Red River Métis author, illustrator and artist. She has received numerous awards for her picture books, including the Governor General’s Award for When We Were Alone (written by David A. Robertson) and the American Indian Library Association Award for Little You (written by Richard Van Camp). Julie lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.