Student Experience Office

Student Experience Office


Student Experience Office

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Queen's Reads

What is Queen's Reads?

Queen’s Reads is a common reading program that aims to engage the Queen’s community in a dialogue. We hope you’ll read the book and engage in some of our events over the course of the academic year. Join our events, discussion groups, a creative contest and a visit from the author, no matter how much (or little) of the book you’ve read!

We’ll explore themes around difference and diversity in connection with our own identities, reflecting on stories of resiliency, identifying the internal and external skills, strengths and resources that we draw on in overcoming adversity.

What book are we reading this year?

This year we have chosen The Break, a powerful narrative that tells an intergenerational story of members of a Metis family, as they navigate the effects of trauma. Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, shortlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads 2017, and recipient of the 2017 Amazon First Novel award, this bestseller is an important new work of Canadian literature from emerging author Katherena Vermette.

How do I participate?

Pick up your free copy of the book in September at various locations around campus. If you require the book in an alternate format for accessibility purposes please let us know by sending an email to Read what you can and come out to our events over the year. All Queen’s students are invited to participate!

More about The Break...

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.

Have questions about the program? Email