Erin Sterling's Reviews > My Name is Not Easy

My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson
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's review
Feb 28, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: character, read-in-2012, story, teen-fiction, teen-historical
Read in February, 2012

Wow, this is a pretty powerful book about a topic that I knew very little about (and is not often read about in history books): boarding schools for Native Alaskans in the 1960s. Before there was a law requiring Alaska to provide schools in every small town, children as young as 6 and 7 were sent to boarding schools far away. The book begins with 3 Eskimo brothers who are sent to a Catholic boarding school, where they meet the harsh Father Mullen, the young and forgiving Father Flanagan, the stern Sister Sarah, and the naive Sister Mary Kate and learn the dynamics of the school, which divide themselves socially primarily between Eskimos and Indians--a division that is apparent to all the Native children and none of the white nuns and priests. Flips between characters and speeds through time rather rapidly, which jolted me occasionally as there would be a few pages about a death, for example, followed by six months later, but overall very interesting and well-written. The author's afterward about the real parts of the story made me that much more interested.

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