Cynthia Leitich Smith
Joseph Bruchac Storyteller & Writer
"Joseph Bruchac lives in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by which he has been most nourished. He, his younger sister Margaret, and his two grown sons, James and Jesse, continue to work extensively in projects involving the preservation of Abenaki culture, language and traditional Native skills, including performing traditional and contemporary Abenaki music with the Dawnland Singers. (Text taken from the author's website.)
Our class will be reading this award-winning novel to look for examples of stereotyping, cultural in-authenticity, and cultural insensitivity. Why do you think that many people now consider this to be a "horrible book"? Why do you think that it is still in print and still taught in some schools?