Monday, September 19, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (9/19)

Welcome back to our Book of the Week segment!  I was hoping to start these back up with the start of school, but that was a no-go.  It has taken me this long to get re-organized for the school year!

My selection this week isn't a new release, but it is made of total and complete awesome so I wanted to feature it anyway.

Fun fact: It is also one of the most frequently banned or challenged books in the United States.

This book is about Junior, a Native American growing up on a Spokane, WA Reservation.  For those of you who don't know about life on an Indian Reservation, it isn't pretty.  Statistically, the people are very poor and alcoholism runs rampant.  You see both of those themes prevalently in Junior's story.

Basically, Junior has a lot of aspirations.  He is a budding cartoonist (and you see lots of his drawings in the book) and a fairly decent basketball player.  He's also a pretty good student, but his school leaves a lot to be desired.

He makes the decision, which when you read the story you discover how truly brave he was to make it, to leave the Reservation's school and travel the 20 miles to the nearest public school that is off the Reservation.  This decision has far-reaching ramifications.  For example, how is he going to get to school?  There isn't a bus and his parents don't have the gas money to get him there on a consistent basis.  And what happens when the new school plays his old school during the basketball season?

This story is funny and sad at the same time and I LOVE stories like that.  It is also a book that is great for girls AND guys.

Come and get it!

Image via Little, Brown and Company