Who Will Tell My Brother?

Overview

International Reading Association Children's Book Award Winner
Determined to sway high school officials to remove disparaging Indian mascots, Evan assumes a struggle that spirals him onto a soul-searching journey and exposes him to a barrage of bullying, taunts, and escalating violence. Marlene Carvell's striking first novel is a timely look at a true story of a mixed-race teen caught up in an exploration of his past, his culture, and his ...
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Overview

International Reading Association Children's Book Award Winner
Determined to sway high school officials to remove disparaging Indian mascots, Evan assumes a struggle that spirals him onto a soul-searching journey and exposes him to a barrage of bullying, taunts, and escalating violence. Marlene Carvell's striking first novel is a timely look at a true story of a mixed-race teen caught up in an exploration of his past, his culture, and his identity.

During his lonely crusade to remove offensive mascots from his high school, a Native American teenager learns more about his heritage, his ancestors, and his place in the world.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
"Racism is a matter of opinion." High school senior Evan Hill cannot believe the words of his principal when asked to do away with the degrading school mascot. Paper headdresses, tomahawk chops, war whoops—the New York high school talisman has all the distasteful and stereotypical "Injun" trappings. The mixed-race teen always has endured racially motivated teasing and the silly dancing at pep rallies until a visit to family members on the reservation brings an enhanced awareness of his own Native American heritage. Now determined to right a grave wrong, Evan takes his agenda to friends, students, and school officials. As his fight escalates, Evan must face ostracism, bullying, and finally, horrifying violence upon an innocent victim. Carvell, a high school English teacher in rural New York state, bases her brief and lyrical first novel upon the experiences of her own two sons. Carefully and skillfully, she reveals Evan's emotional changes as he moves from feeling simple embarrassment to increasing pain to unspeakable horror and heartbreak at the unwitting results of his struggle. The blank verse format will be appealing, especially to reluctant readers. If Evan's voice seems amazingly mature and articulate for a teenager, it is only a slight aberration in an otherwise lovely, heart-wrenching and profound little book. VOYA CODES: 5Q 3P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Hyperion/Disney, 156p, Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 7-Up Through lyrical free-verse poems that span his senior year, readers come to know Evan Hill, an artistic, articulate student who embarks on a crusade begun by his older brother to remove the Indian as their high school's mascot. He shares a Native American heritage with his father, who embodies patience and quiet strength and who draws the teen into his once estranged Mohawk family circle. Evan encounters a mix of hostility, indifference, and silent support for his cause from his classmates. Intolerance and brutality erupt when long-haired Evan is cornered in the hall by scissors-wielding classmates and when his mother discovers the beloved family dog lying dead atop a paper feather headdress. The young man's repeated visits to the school board generate annoyance, frustration, and intransigence, and it votes to ignore his request and to uphold the status quo. But at graduation, when an Indian mascot banner is displayed, cheers fade as sympathizers join Evan in a silent, seated protest. Carvell's first novel carries a clear, thought-provoking message about both intolerance and cultural pride. The protagonist's first-person experiences and insights are affecting. His objection to the shallow, stereotypical portrayal of Native Americans emerges from a spiritual and cultural need to be understood, recognized, and appreciated. Through his campaign, Evan learns a lesson in integrity, perseverance, and courage. -Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Evan is a typical high-school student who chooses an a-typical, unpopular position: to ask the PTA to withdraw his school's Indian mascot. Evan is half Mohawk, and he describes the shame he feels at a school pep rally as cheerleaders whoop with paper feathers on bands around their heads: "I suck in slowly, / breathing in and out, in and out, / with teeth and hands clenched in response, / as my brain teems with confusion / and my eyes search for answers, looking for those who also see the shame / and seeing no one." The narrative-in free verse-conveys the tension and unease that consumes Evan once his petition becomes public. No one will stand behind him, not even when the anonymous hate crimes begin. Finally, just as he is giving up, the friends who have been silent take courage and take a stand. This is well written, though the somber mood never lifts; even the small triumph at the end is subdued. It is a realistically heartening story for teenagers who have a battle to fight, and might also be useful for sparking class discussion. (Fiction. 12-17)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786816576
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 298,850
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2002

    Stunning ...

    Ive read this three times now to my children, both of which are of Native American descent yet go to a school with an "Indian" mascot. It is an inspirational story with an important message, strong writing, and an amazing group of characters. 5+ stars to Who WIll Tell My Brother.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2002

    who won't i tell aboout this book

    This book looks great. I can't what for it to come out I hope it goes staright to the top of the charts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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