The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel

by Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Other authorsKelly Mellings (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2015



In this important graphic novel, two brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.

Pete, a young Indigenous man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Indigenous healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Indigenous men.

This item was purchased with a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon. Institute of Museum and Library Services:


House of Anansi Press (2015), 128 pages


Original language


Original publication date



1770899375 / 9781770899377

Physical description

128 p.; 10 inches


1 copy
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