This is a flashback review I thought I posted last year but this book has stayed with me since I read it back in June of 2012. Highly Recommend!
My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson, narrated by, Nick Podehl and Amy Rubinate
This was a part of history I had never really heard about, how the native Alaskan children were sent away to catholic schools and were given easier names, a new language and taken away from everything they knew. This is a true story written as fiction, the forward explains why it is written as such. The story is told by different people the main 2 being Eskimo boy Luke & young white motherless Chickie a young girl from a Scandinavian background, they tell a very different yet similar story both coming from different backgrounds yet still taken away from all they know to be educated in the Catholic Boarding School.
However there is much more than just education going on at this school there are also some military experiments to test how Eskimo’s live in such cold but these tests are done with radiation and iodine- 131 and I’m sure their parents were never informed. There is also Luke’s little brother Isaac who is whisked away and adopted without consent and this is the 60’s not the 30’s. There are many tragedies along the way. There are other characters Junior, Amiq, Donna & Sonny they are white, Eskimo and Native American (it’s never really said what tribe) and how each of them is trying to find their way in the world without losing who they are.
I think this is a very important book that should be read in high school to get a feel of what Americans have done to each other as they try to Americanize the natives. It is important so that this kind of thing never happens again.
I could feel the anger of these kids, they were all treated as orphans when they weren’t they all had families even if they weren’t the greatest parents they were still alive. This story really touched me and I am very glad I read it.
The narration by, Amy Rubinate & Nick Podehl goes back and forth as we hear Luke & Chickie’s stories (they were the main two there were other stories too) both narrators are fantastic and make you feel the various emotions of these characters. Both narrators were new to me and I very much enjoyed their narration and will look for other books they have narrated!
I see why this book has won awards I think it is a book everyone should read especially if you are like me and this was a part of history you knew nothing about.
4 ½ Stars