Give Me Some Truth

by Eric Gansworth

In 1980, Carson Mastick and his best friend, Lewis Blake, are high school seniors... read more

In 1980, Carson Mastick and his best friend, Lewis Blake, are high school seniors living on the Tuscarora Reservation in upstate New York. Maggi Bokoni, 15, has just moved back to the reservation with her older sister, Marie. Former honor student Lewis paid a heavy price at school for standing up to a white bully years before (the story told in If I Ever Get Out of Here ). His future uncertain, he works cleaning buses for the school district, where Maggi also gets a job and meets Jim, a white grounds supervisor in his early 30s who seems to understand her desire to make art beyond traditional beadwork. Hopeful musician Carson forms a band with reluctant Lewis on bass and Maggi on water drum, intent on winning a competition that could lead to New York. And Marie is in love with one of her former high school teachers from the city. Their stories, individual, intertwined, unpredictable, play out over a series of months in which Carson also mounts a protest against “Custard’s Last Stand,” a restaurant glorifying General Custer that blatantly posts a “No Indians” sign. Though most from the Rez avoid the place, Carson, who can pass as white, wants to confront the racism directly. The nuances and intricacies of these smart, tender characters and their lives unfold in a funny, righteous and illuminating novel. Songs of the Beatles and John Lennon and Yoko Ono provide chapter titles and touchpoints as the teens find solace and inspiration in both music and art. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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