Shelterbelts by Jonathan Dyck 

Shelterbelts by Jonathan Dyck is a stunning graphic novel giving you a snapshot of a small fictional Mennonite town, Hespeler, and its complicated people. The town is fracturing and the tight knots are unravelling, something that is happening in many small communities across North America right now. It is relatable and raw.

The artwork is beautiful and rich and it is a wonderful depiction of a community trying to figure out where they are, where they have been and where they are going. I was left thirsty for more about these complicated characters and have been thinking about them since I finished. I loved that it is a look into a community we do not know that much about. I liked seeing that even in this community there never is one way to be. I enjoyed the religious discussion over things like being queer, profiting off religion and belonging. I liked other discussions around nationalism and pacifism, pipelines and belonging. An excellent and captivating read that perfectly captures the complicated nature of being today.  

The art is beautiful and matches the deep and serious story, with interesting panel placement and characters.  

Jonathan Dyck is an illustrator and cartoonist from Winnipeg, Manitoba — Treaty 1 territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Conundrum Press (May 1 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1772620688
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1772620689

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Laurie Burns is an English as additional language teacher to immigrants, literacy volunteer and voracious reader living in Dartmouth.