The Way It Is

The Way It Is

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
To Ellen Manery, a brilliant, introverted, socially isolated fifteen-year-old, there is nothing good about the summer of 1967, especially when her parents decide to move to a small town in the interior of British Columbia. All the big ideas of the 1960s--the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, women's rights--have not had much of an effect on this small community. Ellen has always been more interested in studying than a social life, but that begins to change when she meets Tony Paul, an eighteen-year-old who belongs to the Shuswap Indians and lives on the nearby reserve. When school starts it is Tony's friendship that gives Ellen the strength to endure the loneliness, racism, discrimination, and antifeminism she must face during her last year in high school. As Tony and Ellen's friendship turns into something deeper, they must decide if they can break free of society's rules and forge their own future.
Publisher: Toronto : Second Story Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781897187807
Branch Call Number: YF REI NVD
Characteristics: 282 p. ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

branch_reviews Mar 15, 2012

It may be the swinging ‘60s, but brainy 16 year-old Ellen Manery, science nerd and loner, is more interested in fast-tracking through high school to get to university – and her dream of being a research doctor. She’s horrified when her parents buy a remote resort in the B.C. interior where she must finish her education. Her dislike of the town eases when she meets Tony, an Indian living on a nearby reserve. Together the two of them must fight sexism, racism and ignorance to become friends and look towards their futures. The rustic location is beautifully presented, with vivid descriptions of sunrise, the shining lake water and the wildlife. A promising Canadian debut novel. Nominated for the 2012 White Pine fiction award.
Reviewed by DC

CR7FB5 Jan 25, 2012

Started off sad but then had an overall good ending.!

ArcticFox911 Jan 25, 2012

Loved it! Like I usually am I wasn't sure at first about the book but I enjoyed it a lot. It made me happy, sad and angry. So far this is one of my favourites.

Dec 29, 2011

This book was really sweet and had a lot of great lessons. A bit predictable but still an ah-mazing read !

enidwray Dec 28, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I really wanted to just sit and keep reading it until I was finished. While I would have been a bit younger than the main character - Ellen - at this time, it still really is set in the time of my youth.  The broad social and political context within which the book is situated resonates strongly with me. Through Ellen and Tony, Reid introduces the reader to the prejudice and discrimination which Native Canadians have to deal with.  We learn about the realities of life on the reserve, the residential school system, the lack of value placed upon a Native life, the lack of opportunities available for advancement, the overall systemic discrimination and so much more.  This book has a strong, well written narrative, and believable, multi-dimensional characters.  Additionally, I found that Donalda Reid absolutely nails the reality of teenage drama in high school, in her descriptions of high-school relationships and shenanigans. These qualities in and of themselves make it a throughly enjoyable read.  What I really liked though, and this is my preference as a reader, is that young adults today will get a little history lesson along the way…  without ever feeling for a moment like they are being “schooled.”

Pikachu01 Dec 22, 2011

I thought it was very interesting and kind of Ironic considering I had Histroy and we were talking about the same things. As part Aboriginal myself I found it easy to relate to Tony. Moving around a lot made it easy for me to connect with Ellen. I knew what they were both going through and it would definitley be my summer reading book. I loved everyminute of it whenever I was on my breaks at work I would always pull it out and read. I couldn't get enough of it!


Add a Summary

TessaAlex Jan 13, 2012

A small town in the 1960s is not the easiest place for a girl who wants to be a doctor, and falling in love with an Indian boy who lives on the local reserve complicates things further.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at NVDPL.

Try searching for The Way It Is to see if NVDPL owns related versions of the work.

To Top