Review of Those Pink Mountain Nights

Those Pink Mountain Nights Those Pink Mountain Nights
by Jen Ferguson
High School    Heartdrum/HarperCollins    352 pp.
9/23    9780063086210    $19.99
e-book ed.  9780063086234    $10.99

Kiki, who is Black and Cree, has been gone for five months when the book begins, and the police have stopped looking for her. Her friend and fellow First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Student Association member Berlin, a high achiever living with depression, and Cam, Berlin’s longtime childhood rival, feel Kiki’s loss profoundly. When Berlin thinks she sees Kiki outside Pink Mountain Pizza, where she and Cam work—and where much of the story is set—the two put aside their differences to search for her. They’re assisted by new coworker Jessie, whose abusive father, a developer, is trying to buy Pink Mountain Pizza out from under Joe, one of the few Black business owners in town. Their social media campaign to raise awareness and save the store garners much support but also provides a platform for people to attack Joe, bringing to light issues of capitalism and anti-Black racism. Kiki’s page-turning story and her mother’s earlier disappearance provide multiple angles on the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People. Through a well-characterized ensemble cast, Ferguson (The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, rev. 5/22), who is Michif/Métis and white, addresses the myriad difficult topics facing her characters with sensitivity and care.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Nicholl Denice Montgomery

Nicholl Denice Montgomery is currently working on a PhD at Boston College in the curriculum and instruction department. Previously, she worked as an English teacher with Boston Public Schools.

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