Lewis "Shoe" Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he's not used to is white people being nice to him -- people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family's poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan's side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis's home -- will he still be his friend?
Acclaimed adult author Eric Gansworth makes his YA debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock 'n' roll.
About the Author
Eric Gansworth is a Professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. An enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, he was born and raised at the Tuscarora Reservation in Niagara County in upstate New York. His short stories, poetry, and nonfiction have been printed and reprinted in many literary magazines and anthologies, and his dramatic work has appeared at the Public Theater in New York City. Eric lives in Niagara Falls, New York. Please visit his website at www.ericgansworth.com.
Read an Excerpt
From IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE:Evan landed on my back and began whaling on my face and head. My quickest instinct was to protect my glasses. I was wearing a welfare pair and we would in no way have the cash to get them fixed if they were broken. Once I had my glasses in hand, I spun backward and slammed us against the lockers. This was hard enough to drop Evan, but not hard enough to get him to reconsider his decision to target me."Truck!" he yelled, hitting me more rapidly. "This little freak is actually fighting back! What's he thinking?""Better teach him a good one, Evan," the helpful Truck said. "Come on, they announced that we got to go back to homeroom." Evan delivered one last kick to my butt as I put my glasses on. "Yeah, summer's almost here, but we got a whole long year ahead of us for that lesson," Evan said. "Can you believe it? Fighting back?"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved every second pf this book. It kept the pages flipping.
4.5 stars. There was so much to take out of this book and I think the most powerful statement I walked away with, was to be proud of who you are, stand tall because no matter how miserable or shameful you think your life is, there is some good in it. Lewis is a smart kid who lives on an Indian reservation but he goes to a white school so he can take advance classes. Lewis is not well-accepted at the school and it isn’t until later that he discovers that his classmate’s parents had threatened their own children’s behavior, “Dump them off among the wild Indians if they’re bad and they can find their own way home.” I was shocked myself at the behavior and the way Lewis was treated at the school. The brutality and the loose-lips that individuals felt they had the right to throw around and the bullying he was subjected to. How some people can have a blind eye, just so they don’t have to deal with what is right in front of them. They disliked Lewis because of where he came from not because of who he was. One person befriends Lewis at school and this friendship sealed the book for me. I couldn’t decide later if it was how Lewis became a part of George’s whole family or just the boy’s relationship that sealed the deal for me but Lewis had a purpose even though other parts of his day were gray. You could see how Lewis was changing, he was getting a glimpse of life that he had never seen and it was a two-headed sword. As they try to find meaning in song lyrics, they like so many of us are trying to put ourselves on the map where we can belong and connect to others. Their connection was tight and brotherly, what makes everyone so different really?