In the 1960's, many of the smaller Alaskan towns didn't have middle or high schools, so young peole were flown in from around the state to attend boarding schools. When Luke and his brother Bunna arrive at Sacred Heart, they notice that all of the Eskimos sit on one side of the cafeteria while all of the Indians sit on the other. When Luke tries to speak to his brother in Inupiaq, their native language, a priest smacks his hands with a ruler. Luke's real name is too hard for white people to pronounce. The boys meet other kids at school, and throughout the book we hear their voices as well. They all struggle with issues of identity, family, and belonging, and as they grow closer to each other, the violence and unrest of the world outside threatens them more and more. My Name is Not Easy is a book about believing in your own voice, and having the courage to stand up for what you believe in.
Similar authors: Joseph Bruchac; Louise Erdrich
Similar books: Hidden Roots by Joseph Bruchac; The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Date read: 8/30/2012