I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was so heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. I’ve learned a little about the “Trail of Tears” on trips through various National Parks, and as sad as the story was then, it’s almost sadder now to read this modern story of life for the descendants of the indigenous people who were forced to leave their ancestral lands two centuries ago. Confined to a Spokane Indian reservation, with only a few options for school and career, 14-year-old Junior seems destined to follow the path of his father and the other adults.
But someone believes in Junior, and he realizes that he doesn’t want to be resigned to the same sad fate. He takes a chance and sacrifices a lot to go to a better school, miles away, and somehow manages to make things work both at school and on the Rez. Loved it! Junior is a pathetic but determined root-for-me hero, and you can’t help but get caught up in his story.