*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"My Name is Not Easy" by Debby Dahl Edwardson

I am really torn on my feelings about this book. The premise is very interesting and captured my attention, but overall I found the writing to be a little weak. Luke's name is not really Luke, but his actual name is too complicated for those at his new boarding school to pronounce (hence the title, My Name is Not Easy). He and his brothers are about to travel to Sacred Heart School, a Catholic boarding school in Alaska. He and the other students are not allowed to speak their native languages and have to learn to adjust to new rules as well as form new eating habits. He will soon realize that everything is not as it seems and that things are going to change more than he ever could have imagined.

I thought that the concept for this book was really interesting. I live in an area of the country where many students live in remote areas and either have to be bussed in to town from very far away or they have to attend a boarding school. Even though this is a common thing in my area, I never put much thought into it on a historical level. The whole process would have been completely different in the 1960s when rules and regulations were not the same as they are today. Some of the decisions made by the adults in this book angered me as I know that it could never be acceptable today for teachers to make such these decisions without first consulting a parent. It was a strange experience to realize at this time, it was perfectly acceptable and probably more common than I could imagine.

Despite liking this book, there are some things that could have been better. The novel is rather short but covers quite a bit of time. It spans over several years and doesn't always do the best job with pacing. I also thought that there were a few too many characters. Edwardson tries to cram an awful lot into too short of a novel.

I think that this is an important book. It has a lot of information that I didn't know so I'm sure that others could learn from it. In addition, I think it raises some interesting questions about the way the world worked in the 1960s which can also bring up how the world works today. I definitely see this being an excellent book to be used for high school students and wish that I could have read something like this when I was a high school student. I feel that I could have anaylized it much more effectively than most of the books I had to read then.

Happy Reading!

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