Machin Truc Chouette

by Hubert Ben Kemoun

Massicholihaloi arrive un matin dans un village. Cet homme au nom étrange retape une maison abandonnée et apprend la langue des habitants. Il devient bientôt indispensable mais reste cependant l'étranger Machin Truc Chouette. Une fable sur l'accueil fait aux immigrés.

Publication Information

Published: 2011

Originally written in French

Number of pages: 31

Recommended FSL Programs and Grades

  • Grade 9 (Core, Academic, Extended, Immersion)

  • Grade 10 (Core, Applied, Academic, Extended, Immersion)

  • Grade 11 (Core)

Race/Ethnic/Geographic Information

Author: Algerian, French nationality, lives in France

Characters: Unknown

Setting: A person of colour arrives at a village of white people

Notes from a teacher-reader

  • Written in poetic verse

  • Hook: How we all come from immigration

  • Works very well for Grade 9 or 10 Core when talking about the history of immigration in class (good for history class).

  • Plot: Coming to a new land, and not speaking the language “of the people” (English or French).

  • Not sure of where the story takes place but a guess would be Northern Canada as it refers to the Gold Rush.

  • The character has challenging interactions with the people.

  • Images on war, blood (careful with this when giving to students).

  • Realistic novel.

  • Real-life situations talk about the war in a realistic way.

  • Not clear the race of the characters (can tell it’s a person of colour).

  • Classroom use:

    • Supplement, and not primary text.

    • Pictures on every page.

    • Easy grammar.

    • Not many difficult words.

    • History of immigration (last 5 pages).

    • No lexique.

    • Content warnings: War, guns and missing hand.

Feel free to contact the teacher-reader, Laura Ouellette, at if you have questions about this novel.