• Our community reads








    OneBookOneAurora celebrates Canadian writing and builds community through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. We hope you enjoy this year’s selection and join us to meet Drew Hayden Taylor on Saturday, October 23, 2021.



    When Ralph Thomas comes across graffiti of a horse in an alleyway in the early hours of the morning, he is stopped in his tracks for he recognizes this horse. A half-asleep Indigenous homeless man sees Ralph’s reaction to the horse and calls out to him.


    Over the course of a morning’s worth of hot coffee on a bitterly cold day, Ralph and the homeless man talk, and Ralph remembers a troubling moment from his childhood when an odd little girl, Danielle, drew the most beautiful and intriguing horse on his mother’s Everything Wall, winning the competition set up for children on the Otter Lake Reserve.


    Ralph has lived with many questions that arose from his eleventh winter. What did the horse mean — to him, his sister, his best friend, and, most importantly, the girl who drew it?


    Chasing Painted Horses will enchant you and stay with you long after you close the last page. We invite you to come on a journey with us as we explore the themes of this magical book.


    Photo Credit: Brock Weir, The Auroran.

    Drew Hayden Taylor

    Drew Hayden Taylor is an Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario. Self-described as a contemporary story teller, his exploration of the storytelling tradition has explored many boundaries.


    Drew has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts.


    An award-winning playwright, author, columnist, filmmaker and lecturer, Drew’s writing combines humour, passion, spirituality and hard-hitting realism.

  •  IF YOU LIKED...

    If you liked Chasing Painted Horses, you may like the following:



    Tap Into Your Imagination

    Chasing Painted Horses by Drew Hayden Taylor has a magical, fable-like quality.
    This year’s OBOA writing contest invites you to tap into your imagination and draw from elements of fantasy, fairy tale, science fiction or magic realism.


    Submission Guidelines:

    • There are two categories: Youth (Ages 14 – 17) and Adult (Ages 18+)
    • Submissions must be original and unpublished in any form
    • Maximum length 10 pages, double-spaced
    • Handwritten submissions will not be accepted
    • Manuscripts will not be returned, but the author retains all rights to their work
    • Winners will be announced at the OBOA grand finale on October 23, 2021
    • Winning stories will be published in the online edition of Borealis
    • APL Employees/Board/Judges and immediate families are ineligible to win
    • Send your entry to writingcontest@aurorapl.ca
    • Deadline: Friday, October 1, 2021

    Prizes: Winner: $100 Gift Card | Runner-Up: $50 Gift Card


    Art in Unexpected Places

    Street art enhances our experience of a place. Whether it’s urban graffiti, sculpture or yarn bombing, public art interrupts our daily routine, surprising and delighting passersby. This year’s OBOA photography contest invites your photos of art encountered in unexpected places.


    Submission Guidelines:

    • There are two categories: Youth (Ages 14 – 17) and Adult (Ages 18 +) 
    • Photographs can be raw or digitally enhanced, but must be high-res for print
    • Winning photographs will be published in the Auroran
    • Winners will be announced at the OBOA grand finale on October 23, 2021
    • APL Employees/Board/Judges and immediate families are ineligible to win
    • Please send submissions to brock@lpcmedia.ca
    • Contest Deadline: Friday, October 1, 2021

    Prizes: Winner: $75 Gift Card | Runner-Up: $25 Gift Card




    The Everything Wall

    Be inspired and transform the fencing around Library Square into the Everything Wall, an evolving community art project.

    Snap a picture of your work and submit it to lfrechette@aurorapl.ca for a chance to win a prize in a weekly draw.

    Entries will be posted on APL’s FB page.

    Thank you for respecting community standards.

    Contest dates: July 5 - 30, 2021

    Inspired by the OBOA featured novel Chasing Painted Horses

    by Drew Hayden Taylor.


    Please continue to check for OBOA event listings.


    Artists Sue Foerster and Archie Maghsoudloo play with pigment and form, expressing horses as symbol, power and mythology in a joint exhibit of painting and sculpture.


    Enjoy the gallery experience from the comfort of your home at https://www.aurorapl.ca/content/art-gallery


    Todd Jamieson of the Oneida Nation of the Thames is an artist and educator. Join him for an evening of learning and creativity as he shares the richness, beauty and symbolism of his culture. Todd will lead participants in creating their own woodlands-style drawing based on their personal Birth Totem.


    Presentation | Q&A | Drawing Workshop


    Thursday, September 16, 2021

    7:00pm | Virtual Event


    Tickets available at bit.ly/3rDio3e


    Break the rules of rational thinking. Create literary graffiti with child-like art, visualization and imagination games. Using the magic of metaphor, transform a painful aspect of a character into a rescued beast - vibrant and alive.

    No artistic or literary experience necessary.

    Supplies: Colourful crayons, chalk or pencils and paper are a must, as is a notebook with pencil or pen.

    A PDF of images will be made available for participants to download prior to the workshop.


    Saturday, September 25, 2021

    1:30 - 3:30pm | Virtual Event


    Register at bit.ly/3qS3AwB



    Meet Drew Hayden Taylor and enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the experiences that shaped this powerful book.


    Presentation | Reading l Q&A


    Saturday, October 23, 2021

    2:00pm | Virtual Event


    Register at bit.ly/3pzC8mV 


    Multiple Copies for Book Clubs

    If your book club would like to borrow multiple copies of Chasing Painted Horses, please contact Reccia at rmandelcorn@aurorapl.ca. Copies will be available starting February through July 2021.


    While quantities last.


    Discussion Questions

    • The reference to the painted horse in the title is clear, but what is Drew Hayden Taylor getting at when he uses the word “chasing”?
    • How does the depiction of Harry defy stereotypes of Indigenous people?      Of homeless people?
    • What does the horse represent? How does its meaning change and develop over the course of the novel?
    • Non-Indigenous cultural references are woven into the novel          (Odysseus, p. 80; the Mona Lisa, p. 137; the Twist, p. 146). How do these references contribute to our understanding of the impact of European culture on Indigenous culture?
    • How are the relationships in Ralph’s family indicative of Indigenous culture?
    • Why might it be easier for Ralph to be a policeman in Toronto than it was in an Indigenous community? How does that relate to Ralph’s identity as an Indigenous person?
    • How are the impacts of colonialism visible in the Otter Lake Reserve community? In Toronto?
    • Why does the author describe Danielle’s painting of the horse as a “crack between the worlds that Danielle had somehow forged open ...”?
    • How does the novel reflect the challenges faced by Indigenous people? 
    • How do the various characters meet those challenges?

    Print copies are available to borrow from Aurora Public Library and online

    through cloudLibrary.


    We hope you enjoy the book and look forward to seeing you at the events.

    Pick up a copy from our little free lending library in the Library living room. Please return it to the display or pass it on to another reader to enjoy.




    Year of programming takes shape around Chasing Painted Horses

    The Auroran, January 14, 2021



    “Chasing Painted Horses” is 2021 One Book One Aurora pick

    The Auroran, January 7, 2021



    Drew Hayden Taylor & Clayton Gauthier win 2020 PMC Indigenous Literature Awards

    CBC Books Sept. 28, 2020



    Healing through humour: Author Drew Hayden Taylor on why laughing matters Unreserved 

    (CBC) May 8, 2020



    Why I Write: Drew Hayden Taylor

    CBC Books (2018)



    Aurora Public Library would like to thank Cormorant Books and most especially Marc Coté for their generous support of OneBookOneAurora