| || || |
By Library Staff on Thursday, April 24, 2008
This is a truly remarkable book about a young man's coming of age and his eventually triumphant struggle to break free of the crushing poverty and social stigmas of life on an Indian reservation (“The rez”).
14-year old Junior has lots of problems – a stutter, a lisp, nearsighted in one eye, and far-sighted in the other, and membership in the “black eye of the month club” to mention a few. He is also highly intelligent, a great basketball player and skilled satirical cartoonist who realizes that in order to succeed he needs a good education both at the high school and college levels. His eagerly awaited high school career starts with a horrendous jolt when he opens his textbook and finds his mother's name written in it from over 30 years ago. In a rage, he throws his textbook at the wall, misses, and breaks his teacher's nose. The teacher, Mr. P. later thanks Junior as it helps assuage the guilt he feels a a white man for the injustices he himself, and white society as a whole, have inflicted on the Indians. With Mr. P's help Junior realizes he has to leave the rez and go to the white school in town, over 20 miles away, where the only other Indian is the school mascot. As a result, the whole reservation including his best friend Rowdy, turn their backs on him (literally, in the case of a basketball game played on the rez)....
| || || |