Give Me Some Truth
by Gansworth, Eric

In 1980 life is hard on the Tuscarora Reservation in upstate New York, and most of the teenagers feel like they are going nowhere: Carson Mastick dreams of forming a rock band, and Maggi Bokoni longs to create her own conceptual artwork instead of the traditional beadwork that her family sells to tourists-but tensions are rising between the reservation and the surrounding communities, and somehow in the confusion of politics and growing up Carson and Maggi have to make a place for themselves.

Eric Gansworth (Sˑha-weń na-saeˀ) is Lowery Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and was recently NEH Distinguished Visiting Professor at Colgate University. An enrolled Onondaga, he was born and raised at the Tuscarora Indian Nation, just outside Niagara Falls, NY. His debut novel for young readers, If I Ever Get Out of Here, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick and an American Indian Library Association Young Adult Honor selection, and he is the author of numerous acclaimed books for adults. Eric is also a visual artist, generally incorporating paintings as integral elements into his written work. His work has been widely shown and anthologized and has appeared in IROQUOIS ART: POWER AND HISTORY, THE KENYON REVIEW, and SHENANDOAH, among other places, and he was recently selected for inclusion in LIT CITY, a Just Buffalo Literary Center public arts project celebrating Buffalo's literary legacy. Please visit his website at

There are no easy life choices for Carson, Maggi, and Lewis as their lives intersect on their reservation.Carson has glory-filled dreams of getting off the reservation by winning a bandcompetition yet has a hard time being committed to the work needed for theidea to succeed. He also wishes that Maggi, who has moved back from the city,will give his budding first-love feelings a chance. Although Maggi finds the bandfun and Carson a great friend, she is committed to exploring what arelationship would look like with white 30-year-old Jim, who is heavily pursuing heraffections. Though the characters are struggling personally, they are all unitedagainst a restaurant called Custer's Last Stand, and soon the community members come together tomake their own stand against a racist restaurant owner who proudly display his"No Indians" sign. Readers will find a continuing cast of characters fromGansworth's If I Ever Get Out of Here (2013) while also getting amusic-laced perspective of young, contemporary Native Americans' struggles. Grades 10-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A 1980s Native American coming-of-age story grapples with the day-to-day details of teenagers' lives on and off the reservation. Wannabe musician Carson Mastick is approaching his senior year of high school, vacillating about whether to stay at home on the Tuscarora Reservation in upstate New York or pursue his dream of using his band as a way to get out. Fifteen-year-old Magpie Bokoni is dealing with the opposite situation: Her mother, who sells traditional souvenirs to tourists, decides to uproot the family from the city and move them back to the reservation. Magpie joins Carson's band as a way of settling back into rez life, and her love for the Beatles, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono is infused throughout the story. While Magpie's sister, Marie, is secretly dating an older guy she calls "Mystery Man," Magpie is dating her co-worker at the garage, a 30-year-old white man (although her conscience wrestles with the illegal relationship). As they gear up for the Battle of the Band s competition, Carson leads the group in an impromptu protest of a Gen. Custer-themed restaurant located just off the reservation, run by a racist man who shot and injured Carson's brother. As Carson's and Magpie's lives—narrated in alternating chapters—intersect, their stories will capture a wide audience. A classic teen novel, especially for Native youth and Beatles fans. (Fiction. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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