Lewis lives on a reservation near the Canadian border in 1976. He attends school off the res and has been placed with the smart kids since kindergarten. He is the only Indian kid his classes; ignored by the white kids, he is quiet and gentle and feels invisible. He cuts off his braid, dreaming of fitting in and finding friends but this doesn’t happen until he meets a new kid who has moved onto the military base. George is kind and open minded and quickly becomes friends with Lewis. As he says, if you are a military kid you never know when you will be departing so you have to connect with people quickly. The two boys bond over music, especially the Beatles and Lewis gets a taste of living in a white family. Embarrassed by the severe poverty in which he lives, Lewis builds a web of lies to keep George from seeing his home. A severe snow storm results in both families becoming stranded in Lewis’s house. With an authentic and quirky cast of characters, life on the res comes alive. Themes of racism, pop culture, family relationships, bullying and finding your identity make this a book you will not soon forget.
Tessa's Picks, 7th grade, 8th grade, 8th summer 2016, Character driven, Contemporary fiction, Friendship, Issues fiction, People of color