Digging for Philip

Digging for Philip

Greg Jackson-Davis


A Novel

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FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD SOCIAL MISFIT Philip Reddy, still struggling with the death of his father, doesn’t know what he’s in for when he decides to dig up an unidentified mound of earth near his island summer cottage. Beneath the earth lies the restless Anishinaabe spirit Tikumiwaewidung who once lived and hunted on the lake.

The spirit despises the white man for decimating his people, and drives Philip like a slave to properly lay to rest the Ojibway people who had died during the colonisation of the lake area. Philip has prejudices of his own, which do not ingratiate him with the already enraged spirit. At first, Philip is driven to exhaustion by the spirit, but the two develop a symbiotic relationship through their work, and the spirit helps Philip to rise above his grief.

Set in the lush Canadian Shield country of northwestern Ontario, Digging for Philip is a dark but compelling adventure novel about racism and prejudice and coming to terms with loss.

Download the Digging for Philip Reader’s Guide.

  • FINALIST Stellar Award
  • FINALIST McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award
  • FINALIST Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book

“An excellent coming-of-age story for young adults, with underlying themes of racism and coming to terms with grief.” – Prairie Fire Review of Books

“Philip’s growth throughout the novel is realistic and believable. The plot is engaging, and the conflicts are emotionally intense. Four stars, highly recommended!” – CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“The novel successfully weaves Aboriginal folklore, fantasy and horror into a compelling tale about 14-year-old Philip Reddy’s struggle to face himself and the world. Told without condescension, Digging for Philip will keep the young adult reader engaged until the end.” – Winnipeg Free Press

Additional Information

Weight 0.295 kg

About the Author

Greg Jackson-Davis

Originally from Montreal, Greg Jackson-Davis spent his childhood summers in the beautiful Lake of the Woods area of northwestern Ontario. He has a B.A. in Rhetoric and Professional Writing from the University of Waterloo, and a B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba. He currently teaches middle school English and French an St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg.