English / USA

If I ever get out of here. A novel with paintings

Gansworth, Eric (text/illus.)
New York: Scholastic, 2013. – 359 p.
(Arthur A. Levine books)
ISBN 978-0-545-41730-3

Native Americans | School | Outsider | Bullying | Prejudice | Friendship | Poverty| Music | Coming-of-age novel

Eric Gansworth, a member of the Onondaga Nation, born and raised on the Tuscarora Reservation, is a visual artist and writer. His first young adult nove is a moving book about a young Tuscarora Indian boy’s life in upstate New York in 1975.

Lewis Blake lives on the ≫rez≪ and is the only Native American at the ≫brainiacs≪ group in his class at the white junior high school. When a new student, Air Force kid George, arrives at the beginning of seventh grade, Lewis lunges at the opportunity to fi nally make a friend. Although they come from vastly different backgrounds, the two boys quickly bond over their craze for the Beatles’ music (which features prominently in the book and whose records covers inspire the illustrations), yet trust isn’t gained easily. The author combines engaging dialogue, an amiable cast of authentic, partly quirky characters, and a believable narrative voice with plenty of humour to deliver honest descriptions of life in dire poverty, prejudice, shocking incidents of racist bullying, and a strong friendship against all odds. (Age: 12+)