My Name Is Not Easy Hardcover – Oct 1 2011
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About the Author
Debby Dahl Edwardson has lived at the northern most tip of North America in Barrow, Alaska, for over thirty years. She married into the I´nupiaq community and most of what she writes about is set within this culture. It’s not the culture she was born into, but it’s the one she feels she belongs to in every sense of the word. While My Name Is Not Easy is fiction, it was inspired by real stories from a number of boarding schools that once operated throughout Alaska.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
ABOUT THE BOOK
Luke knows his Iñupiaq name is full of sounds white people can't say. So he leaves it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles away from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School, students--Eskimo, Indian, White--line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there's some kind of war going on. Here, speaking Iñupiaq--or any native language--is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he's not the only one. There's smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader--if he doesn't self-destruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small, quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. They each have their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School--and the wider world--will never be the same.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Debby Dahl Edwardson grew up in Minnesota, where she spent summers at her family cabin on an island in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. She earned a BA from Colorado College, attended Nansenskolen in Norway, and has lived for over thirty years in Barrow, the northernmost community in Alaska. She earned an MFA from Vermont College in 2005. Debby and her husband George have seven children. Her picture book, Whale Snow (Charlesbridge, 2003), was named to the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society and the CBC/NSST lists and was named Best Picture Book by IPPY. Her first novel, Blessing's Bead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009) was selected by the Junior Library Guild and named to the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and Booklist's Top 10 First Novels for Youth lists."
The prose is unique, and direct. While reading the story, you are given glimpses into the minds of the characters.
The book may be considered a "young adult" novel by some. Isn't that what you want to be: a young adult?
I was surprised that I - this non-Alaskan 50 year old male - was so drawn into this story. However, I am now in Alaska 15 months, far from Anchorage, and I am beginning to understand the unique story of Alaska. Beautiful Land, echoes of social failures, challenges to manage our resources.
The author was inspired for this story by her husbands life. Dahl-Edwardson married into Inupiaq culture. The historical events referenced in the story were well researched. This book could be used in grades 7-12 classrooms to learn about Alaskan history and culture.
I personally enjoyed reading the book, feeling as though the characters were very much like the some of the people I have met while living in Alaska. It is really easy to see why Dahl-Edwardson is up for some presitgious book awards.
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