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My Name Is Not Easy Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Edwardson, Debby Dahl
ISBN: 1477816291     ISBN-13: 9781477816295
Publisher: Skyscape
    OUR PRICE: $8.99  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: September 2013
Qty:
Annotation: Alaskans Luke, Chickie, Sonny, Donna, and Amiq relate their experiences in the early 1960s when they are forced to attend a Catholic boarding school where, despite different tribal affiliations, they come to find a sort of family and home.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Indians of North America; Alaska; Fiction.
Interpersonal relations; Fiction.
Catholic schools; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2013050121
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 0.75" (0.65 lbs) 248 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q55733
Reading Level: 5.4   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 15.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring)
Edwardson sets her ambitious novel in 1960 1965 Alaska, primarily at a Catholic boarding school drawing indigenous children from all over the state. She juggles a large cast of characters and addresses a host of issues, from racism to the institutional abuse of Native Alaskan children to the ingrained animosity between Eskimo and Indian students. The story is powerful and poignant.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #1)
Edwardson (Blessing's Bead, rev. 11/09) sets her ambitious novel in 1960-1965 Alaska, primarily at a Catholic boarding school drawing indigenous children from all over the state. She juggles a large cast of characters and multiple narrators; incorporates historical events; and addresses a host of issues, from racism to the institutional abuse of Native Alaskan children to the ingrained animosity between Eskimo and Indian students. Edwardson tells her story from a variety of points of view, concentrating on a few central characters: Luke (so named because white people can't pronounce his Inupiaq name), the oldest of three brothers newly and reluctantly arrived at the school from their Arctic Alaskan village; another newcomer, Chickie, daughter of a Swedish storekeeper; and established rivals Sonny (who is Athabascan) and Amiq (Eskimo). There is much tragedy here: Luke's youngest brother is summarily adopted out, without the family's knowledge or permission; Inupiaq students are used as guinea pigs in an experiment involving the ingestion of radioactive iodine; Luke's middle brother dies in a plane crash. There is, however, also first love, friendships both unexpected and deep, brave acts of civil disobedience, and a reunion. The novel is a bit crowded, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the characters' voices (the author distributes her gift for lyric language perhaps too generously). But the story is a powerful one, pervaded with a sense of immediacy that increases its impact; that Luke's experiences are based on Edwardson's husband's adds even more poignancy. martha v. parravano

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 November #2)

Edwardson (Blessing's Bead) crafts a multilayered story set in 1960s Alaska, told from the perspectives of children coming of age in a cultural contact zone. When 12-year-old Luke and his brothers are sent to a punitive Catholic boarding school, he knows that he will have to sacrifice his Iñupiaq name. But he isn't prepared to lose his youngest brother, Isaac, who is too young to enroll and is sent to live with a family in Texas. At Sacred Heart, Eskimos, Indians, and whites initially segregate themselves by ethnicity, but as they are touched by insidious outside forces, the racial boundaries fall away, and their voices become unified. Amiq, a defiant Eskimo, challenges authority, and a stubborn girl named Chickie longs to open closed doors, finding love with an Eskimo student; meanwhile, a quiet boy gathers the courage to write the truth. Edwardson distills a complex period in American history, examining the Cold War, the moon race, and the Kennedy era with cold, crisp illumination. Her beautifully styled prose offers strong descriptions of an isolated world and a mosaic of identities that must be sutured back together after being broken off at the root. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Edwardson (Blessing's Bead) crafts a multilayered story set in 1960s Alaska, told from the perspectives of children coming of age in a cultural contact zone. When 12-year-old Luke and his brothers are sent to a punitive Catholic boarding school, he knows that he will have to sacrifice his Iñupiaq name. But he isn't prepared to lose his youngest brother, Isaac, who is too young to enroll and is sent to live with a family in Texas. At Sacred Heart, Eskimos, Indians, and whites initially segregate themselves by ethnicity, but as they are touched by insidious outside forces, the racial boundaries fall away, and their voices become unified. Amiq, a defiant Eskimo, challenges authority, and a stubborn girl named Chickie longs to open closed doors, finding love with an Eskimo student; meanwhile, a quiet boy gathers the courage to write the truth. Edwardson distills a complex period in American history, examining the Cold War, the moon race, and the Kennedy era with cold, crisp illumination. Her beautifully styled prose offers strong descriptions of an isolated world and a mosaic of identities that must be sutured back together after being broken off at the root. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 November)

Gr 7 Up—Prior to the Molly Hootch Act of 1976, which required Alaska to build and staff high schools in even the smallest of the rural villages, children who wished to continue their education beyond what was offered in their communities traveled to BIA or church-supported boarding schools in the lower 48 or more populated parts of Alaska. Luke's Inupiaq experience of leaving his home near the Arctic Circle in 1960 to journey with his two younger brothers to the Catholic sponsored Sacred Heart School is based in large part on Edwardson's husband's memories of boarding school. The author unflinchingly explores both the positive and negative aspects of being away from home at such a young age. Nothing is familiar to Luke and his fellow students; the terrain, the food, the language are strange, and their struggle with feelings of homesickness and alienation is heart-wrenching. Edwardson's skillful use of dialogue and her descriptions of rural Alaska as well as boarding-school life invoke a strong sense of empathy and compassion in readers as they experience Luke's emotions along with him. It is rare that an author can write about a controversial subject such as this without prejudice. Edwardson is to be applauded for her depth of research and her ability to portray all sides of the equation in a fair and balanced manner while still creating a very enjoyable read.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

[Page 118]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.