This is a World Book Night book that comes to you with no strings attached. Because I loved this book so much, I was excited to be able to give it away.
My thoughts from the first time I read this book:
One of my favorite books of the year (if not longer)! I am a big fan of Mr. Alexie's (although this is only the second book of his I have read -- and I just read the first one last month), because I have had the privilege of seeing the movie made from one of his stories (Smoke Signals -- winner of the audience favorite award at the Sundance Film Festival about 1999 or 2000) and have heard him speak a few times.
One of the things I enjoyed about the book was the honest flavor of "rez" life. I lived in Spokane for 3 years, so the Spokane Reservation was in my consciousness; also, one of my best friends is Native American and has told me stories of "rez" life. I would not be surprise to learn that more than 75% of the information in this book is "absolutely true." I know Alexie was born with hydrocephalus, I know that the surest way to survive as an intelligent kid in Wellpinit is to get out of Wellpinit, I know that small-town Washington is obsessed with high school sports, I know that the textbooks in a "rez" school are really that old, and I know that alcohol has a devastating effect on Native American life. The loss of 3 people Arnold was close to in a short span of time due to the various permutations of alcohol in the culture is entirely possible.
Most of all, I was happy to think that this book will be taught in schools -- and hopefully in reservation schools, where its truths might reach young people. For all of the poverty and misery on the "rez," there are many good things -- a close community, a sense of heritage, and people who try, like Arnold's parents -- even though Dad is an alcoholic. He pointed out some unpleasant truths -- the fact that reservations were meant as prisons and that a Native American who leaves the rez is viewed as a traitor and ostracized, so most of them do not stay gone. The fact that most Caucasians think Natives are drunk and lazy and backward and sponge off the government and are getting rich off of casinos, even though the casino money seldom helps the tribes, there are no jobs to be had on the rez, alcohol is cheap and improperly metabolized by most Natives, and the money "given" by the government is a payment on the land and mineral rights leases for which over $500B appears to have simply vanished (a 40 year lawsuit still raging over that). And the fact that, like many minority communities, Native Americans have spent so long at the bottom of the food chain, as it were, that it has become part of the cultural identity and anyone who tries to escape it has to battle racism on both fronts.
From World Book Night's website -
World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. To be held in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland on April 23, 2012. It will see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks.
World Book Night, through social media and traditional publicity, will also promote the value of reading, of printed books, and of bookstores and libraries to everyone year-round.
Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night will also be celebrated in the U.S. in 2012, with news of more countries to come in future years. Please join our mailing list for regular World Book Night U.S. news. And thank you to our U.K. friends for such a wonderful idea!
Additionally, April 23 is UNESCO’s World Book Day, chosen due to the anniversary of Cervantes’ death, as well as Shakespeare’s birth and death.
Released 1 yr ago (4/24/2012 UTC) at Unknown in unknown, -- Wild Released somewhere in USA -- USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I was still recovering from jet lag on Monday and could not distribute all of my World Book Night books that night. I took them with me and distributed them on my way to work, handing them to security guards and Metro employees and complete strangers I encountered along the way. I hope that some of them at least are found and appreciated.
Welcome to Book Crossing -- this book is now yours to read, retain, release, or any combination thereof which suits your fancy. Books registered with Book Crossing are tracked by those who have read them before to see where they will go and who they will meet on their journeys. People who participate in the Book Crossing community often establish friendships and trade books or comments on books and just relish a relationship with other readers across the globe.
You are welcome (and encouraged) to create a journal entry on the book, particularly when passing it on to a specific someone or releasing in the wild. You don't have to read the book to create a journal entry nor do you have to feel obligated to write only positive things. All those who have had their hands on the book before you would be excited to read any journal entry you choose to make.
You can remain anonymous or join Book Crossing, where you are known to others by the screen name of your choice and no personal information is revealed. If you join, you can receive e-mail updates about all the places this book travels to in the future. (I would love it if you listed me, 6of8, as your referring member).
Sharing books in this fashion is just another way of spreading good karma across the world. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the book!