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The Really Big List of Books About Yellowknife

Yellowknife Books

You might not be surprised to learn that I love reading about Yellowknife. As much as I like writing about it, I like learning about our past, how Yellowknife came to be, where we are going and reading about someone else’s perspective on the city and lands surrounding it all.

This curiosity in reading about Yellowknife prompted me to look for someone who might know how to find out about all the books about Yellowknife. That person happened to be someone I already knew through years of online writing.

John Mutford is the author of the popular blog The Book Mine Set, which in his words is the book blog with a Canadian bias. Go have a look, it is pretty neat. That said, John is also a Public Services Librarian at the Yellowknife Public Library, which makes him all that much more knowledgeable on the topic.

I asked him if there are any Yellowknife related books he would recommend. His response was the outstanding list below. He even categorized them by type and provided the library call numbers.  John did suggest though that there might have been some he missed, so if you know of another book not mentioned, let us know in the comments.

Yellowknife Books

Adult Fiction

  • Hay, Elizabeth – Late Nights on Air – GEN F HAY 2007
  • Hendry, Rebecca – One Good Thing – F HEN 2018
  • Jewison, Cathy – The Ugly Truck and Dog Contest, and Other Tales of Northern Life – F JEW
  • Kolson, AmberLee – Wings of Glass – (available through interlibrary loan)
  • Macpherson, Margaret – Body Trade – BOOK CLUB MACP 2011
  • Pool, Annelies – Free Love – F POO 2015
  • Various, compiled by John Mutford and Judy McLintock: Coming Home: Stories from the Northwest Territories – F COM
  • Zipp, Steve – Yellowknife – F ZIP

Adult Non-Fiction

  • Allerston, John – 1990 Arctic Winter Games, Yellowknife, N.W.T. – 796 ARC
  • Bastedo, Jamie – Blue Lake and Rocky Shore: A Field Guide to Special Natural Areas in the Yellowknife Region – 557.14 BAS
  • Bastedo, Jamie – Reaching North – A Celebration of the Subarctic – 917.1904 BAS
  • Bastedo, Jamie – Shield Country – Life and Times of the Piece of the Planet – 557.14 BAS
  • Bastedo, Jamie – Falling For Snow – A Naturalist’s Journey Through the World of Winter – 577.5 BAS
  • Bastedo, Jamie – Trans-Canada Trail Guide – Northwest Territories – N 917.19 BAS
  • Bidini, Dave – Midnight Light – 917.19 BID 2018
  • Blondin-Perrin, Alice – My Heart Shook Like a Drum: What I Learned at the Indian Mission Schools, Northwest Territories – 921 BLO 2009
  • Canadian North presents Folk on the Rocks Music Festival 20th Anniversary – N 780 CAN
  • Debogorski, Alex – King of the Road: True Tales from a Legendary Ice Road Trucker – 921 DEB 2010
  • Fraser, Whit – True North Rising – 921 FRA 2018
  • Freeman, Randy – Stories from Yellowknife – 971.93 FRE
  • Gould, G. McC. (Editor) – Jock McMeekan’s Yellowknife Blade – 971.93 MCME
  • Heal, Tyler – The Times Behind the Signs: The History Behind Yellowknife Street Names – N 971.93 HEA
  • Huffam, Donna and Peter – Yellowknife: Diamond in the Rough – 971.9 PHI
  • Humphries, Walt – Con Mine: A Pictorial History 1938 – 2003 – 622 HUM 2007
  • Hurcomb, Fran – Old Town – 971.93 HUR 2012
  • Hurcomb, Fran – Trapline to Finish Line: The Story of Yellowknife’s Canadian Championship Dog Derby – 798.8 HUR
  • Jackson, Susan (Editor) – Yellowknife, N.W.T.: An Illustrated History – 971.93 YEL
  • Lafferty, Catherine – Northern Wildflower – 921 LAF 2018
  • Padgham, W. A. – Yellowknife Guide Book: A Guide to the Geology of the Yellowknife Volcanic Belt and Its Bordering Rocks – N 574 YEL
  • Pool, Annelies – Iceberg Tea – 814.54 POO 2010
  • Price, Ray – Yellowknife – 971.2 PRI
  • Sarkadi, Laurie – Voice in the Wild – 921 SAR
  • Selleck, Lee and Thompson, Francis – Dying for Gold: The True Story of the Giant Mine Murders – 971.9 SEL
  • Silke, Ryan – Yellowknife Education District No. 1: A History of Public Schooling – 371 SIL 2014
  • Simmons, Debby – The Summer Flora and Fauna of the Yellowknife Area – N 574.09719 SIM
  • Staples, David – The Third Suspect – 971.9 STA
  • Steinbruck, Jean – The Yellowknife Journal – 971.93 STE
  • Thomas, Kyle – Yellowknife Street Stories – 971.93 THO 2014
  • Various, compiled and edited by Barbara Bromley, Terry Foster, and Ronne Heming – Yellowknife Tales: Sixty Years of Stories from Yellowknife – 920 YEL
  • Vlessides, Michael – The Ice Pilots: Flying with the Mavericks of the Great White North – 629.130911 VLE 2012
  • Watt, Erik – Yellowknife: How a City Grew – N 971.9 WAT
  • Webster, Geddes – The Prospector’s Pick: The People of the Yellowknife Gold Boom 1936 – 1951 – 971.9 WEB 2009

Children and Juvenile

  • Bastedo, Jaya – A Winter Walk with Haley – E BAS 1999
  • Bastedo, Jamie – Nighthawk! – JF BAS 2012
  • Blondin, George – The Old Man with the Otter Medicine – FOLK TALES BLO
  • Brookes, Diane and illustrated by Mary-Lynn Carraretto – Su Lin and the Dragon – E BRO
  • Brookes, Diane – Said the Raven – PRESCHOOL GRAB BAG NORTHERN
  • de Bastiani, Lana – Pacey, Janet – The Fox and My Boot – E DEB 2018
  • Henry, Amber – Ptarmigan in a Birch Tree – CELEBRATIONS CHRISTMAS HEN
  • Hurcomb, Fran – One Lucky Fish – E HUR
  • Parker, Janice – Yellowknife: The Diamond Capital – J971.9 PAR

Young Adult

  • Bastedo, Jamie – Tracking Triple Seven – JF BAS
  • Bastedo, Jamie – Cut Off – YF PBK BAS
  • Daher, Anita – Spider’s Song – YA PBK DAH


  • Alexander, Colin – The Ghost of the Yellowknife Inn and other popular and traditional humorous verse – 808.81 ALE
  • Gillis, Daniel – Coffee Time on Houseboat Bay – 819.9 GIL

Graphic Novels

  • McCreesh, Alison – Ramshackle: A Yellowknife Story – GRA 971.9 MCCR 2015
  • Vaughan, Brian K – We Stand on Guard – GRA AF VAU 2016

If you are interested in purchasing any of these books I would suggest checking to see of the Yellowknife Book Cellar has it in stock or can get it in. That said, many of these titles are out of circulation now, so the Yellowknife Public Library might be your only option.

While this list is wonderful and more than I thought it would be there is always a chance we missed a book or two. If you know of a book about Yellowknife that isn’t on the list, leave us a comment below.


About the author

Kyle Thomas

Kyle grew up in Yellowknife and is a local entrepreneur, writer, baker, and Yellowknife Advocate who is addicted to learning as much as he can about the community and sharing it with anyone who'll listen. In 2009 he developed YkOnline.ca. A website all about living, working and thriving in Yellowknife for residents, newcomers, and visitors.


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