Give Me Some Truth

400p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. May 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338143546.
RedReviewStarSeventeen-year-old Carson Mastick has lived his whole life on the reservation, while fifteen-year-old Maggi (short for Magpie) Bokoni had been living in the city since she was eight and has only recently moved back. Their alternating first-person narratives, set in 1980 on the Tuscarora Indian Nation (the "Rez"), near Niagara Falls, reveal an Indigenous culture rooted in tradition but embracing modern popular culture as well. Carson dreams of being a rock star; an upcoming Battle of the Bands, with its grand prize of a thousand dollars and a trip to New York City, would send him on his way. His best friend Lewis (protagonist of If I Ever Get Out of Here, rev. 9/13) will be the band's rhythm guitarist, with Maggi playing her water drum. The music of the Beatles, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono frames the novel, from the title (Lennon's 1971 protest song) to the names of the novel's five parts, and provides the band's intended setlist. Gansworth's book delineates abuses faced by Native Americans, including "No Indian" signs in restaurants, close surveillance at the mall, fights, prejudice at school, and, ultimately, sabotage of the group's chance to play in the Battle of the Bands. It's also an intimate look at the teens' lives, including Maggi's relationship with an older man. A rich, honest story of family and friends, of a Nation within a nation. Back matter includes a playlist and discography. dean Schneider

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