Apple: (Skin to the Core)

Dreamscape Audio. 2020. 809p. $49.99. ISBN 9781662038501.
Gr 7 Up–This memoir, mostly in verse, is read by the author and tells the story of his life growing up on the Tuscarora Reservation in New York in one of the only families with Onondagan ties. The book begins and weaves itself around the history of three of Gansworth’s grandparents attending Indian Boarding Schools and the long-lasting effects generations later. The insight he shares into his life experiences is a necessary look into reservation life. The references to bands and other pop culture from the 1960s and 1970s may be more difficult for teens to connect to in the same way as older audiences. The title comes from the slur—Apple—meaning red on the outside and white on the inside, referring to Native Americans who have assimilated too much into white culture. This theme and various metaphors of apples also recur throughout the memoir.
VERDICT Hearing the story told from the author himself provides a personal connection to the stories included. But, listeners may miss out on the visual elements Gansworth describes in the Author’s Note—paintings he created that connect to each section of the book.

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