Give Me Some Truth
Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. A rock band -- and winning the local Battle of the Bands, with its first prize of a trip to New York City -- is his best shot. But things keep getting in the way. Small matters like the lack of an actual band, or the fact that his brother just got shot confronting the racist owner of a local restaurant. Maggi Bokoni has just moved back to the reservation from the city with her family. She's dying to stop making the same traditional artwork her family sells to tourists (conceptual stuff is cooler), stop feeling out of place in her new (old) home, and stop being treated like a child. She might like to fall in love for the first time too. Carson and Maggi -- along with their friend Lewis -- will navigate loud protests, even louder music, and first love in this novel about coming together in a world defined by difference.

Give Me Some Truth Details

TitleGive Me Some Truth
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 29th, 2018
PublisherArthur A. Levine Books
ISBN-139781338143546
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Music, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Teen, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Audiobook, Social Movements, Social Justice

Give Me Some Truth Review

  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    It's 1980 and Carson wants to win Battle of the Bands to get a free trip to NYC. But first he needs a band. That's the basic premise of this book, but it's so, so much more than that. Carson is a Tuscarora Indian living on a reservation and at the very beginning of the book his brother is shot and injured when he robs a local restaurant - a restaurant named after and honoring George Custer, famous Indian killer. This starts in motion a social justice movement that will have impact beyond what Ca It's 1980 and Carson wants to win Battle of the Bands to get a free trip to NYC. But first he needs a band. That's the basic premise of this book, but it's so, so much more than that. Carson is a Tuscarora Indian living on a reservation and at the very beginning of the book his brother is shot and injured when he robs a local restaurant - a restaurant named after and honoring George Custer, famous Indian killer. This starts in motion a social justice movement that will have impact beyond what Carson could have imagined.Magpie and her family have just moved back to the Reservation after years of living as City Indians. As Maggi relearns the ways of "the Rez" she also starts a job working at the school cleaning school buses and develops a crush on a white man twice her age who also seems interested in her. As Maggi and Carson's stories intertwine, the book explores much to do with race and the relationship between white people and Indians. This is a complex story with characters that will stay with me for a long time. At times I wondered where the narratives were going, but when they came together everything fit into place. This is a novel with a strong sense of time and place, using the Beatles, specifically John Lennon, and Yoko Ono to tie everything together. Although we're revisiting characters from Gansworth's previous teen novel If I Ever Get Out of Here, this story stands on its own. Hand this book to fans of John Green's thoughtful teen characters and teens interested in music and/or social justice.
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  • Elke (BEroyal)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis is a story told in dual POV: the 15-year-old Maggi and the 17-year-old Carson, both native American teens, Tuscarora Nation (#ownvoices), living on a reservation near Niagra Falls and the border with Canada in 1980.My audiobook subscription ends the third, and I really wanted to be able to finish this still. I'm glad I did! I am, however, sad that due to me listening to it I didn't get to see the visual art. Something that made me extremely uncomfortable was the fact that Jim, a th 3.5 starsThis is a story told in dual POV: the 15-year-old Maggi and the 17-year-old Carson, both native American teens, Tuscarora Nation (#ownvoices), living on a reservation near Niagra Falls and the border with Canada in 1980.My audiobook subscription ends the third, and I really wanted to be able to finish this still. I'm glad I did! I am, however, sad that due to me listening to it I didn't get to see the visual art. Something that made me extremely uncomfortable was the fact that Jim, a thirty-year-old guy from Maggi's work, preyed on her. Maggi was drawn to him too (he played his part well) and all their interactions made me feel dirty. SPOILER: they end up being in a relationship, kiss, fondle and even plan (but don't go through bc Maggi changes her mind) having sex. END SPOILERI liked the story, but i wonder why i always pick band and music-related books when i myself have very little affinity for music. Either way, i thought it was pretty cool that all the chapter titles were song titles too! I liked Lewis and the other supporting characters. I loved the sister relationship and it was also interested reading about twins that weren't that close they did everything together or even talked a lot.Carson was kind of an ass and I would have liked him developing more. I did absolutely love the substory of resistance, protest and fighting against racism and injustice.Also pretty cool that art (also in the way of music, of course) was such a big part of the book. Both as inspiration for the characters and them actually creating it.Content warning for: racism, gun wound, discussion about sex, alcohol abuse, ableism, mentions of genitals and the aforementioned thing of the thirty-year-old
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  • Mo
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, so this was great. I started to draft a long, largely incoherent love letter to this book, and then I remembered Debbie Reese had this to say about Eric Gansworth's first young-adult novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here: https://americanindiansinchildrenslit... , which is both more authoritative and better written than my ramblings. (This isn't a series, but there is some overlap in the two books.) Anyway, I thought this book was even better than If I Ever Get Out of Here, and I loved the stuff Wow, so this was great. I started to draft a long, largely incoherent love letter to this book, and then I remembered Debbie Reese had this to say about Eric Gansworth's first young-adult novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here: https://americanindiansinchildrenslit... , which is both more authoritative and better written than my ramblings. (This isn't a series, but there is some overlap in the two books.) Anyway, I thought this book was even better than If I Ever Get Out of Here, and I loved the stuffing out of that book. Give Me Some Truth is moving, funny, and amazing in every possible way. Unpretentious stories about young people creating art are my kryptonite, and this novel excels in that regard. (There's a playlist!) As with If I Ever Get Out of Here, I learned a lot about Tuscarora Nation culture and history, as well as racism that targets Indigenous people, and that information is interwoven into the plot and the characters' voices in ways that feel completely organic. There is also an extremely realistic portrayal of adults who prey on teenagers. There's very little—beyond the age difference--about the adult that screams, “Predator, stay away!” at first, and we see it from the teenager's point of view. I don't want to spoil anything, but it's really well done, and I think that's an important thing to have in a young-adult novel. Like many of my generation, I second-guessed myself a lot when a sexual predator was, say, a super likable high school math teacher instead of a mustache-twirling villain who popped out from behind the bushes, so I am beyond thrilled about the nuanced, realistic description here. I also really liked that one of the two narrative voices was a teenager who didn't drive a main story line, but closely watched it as it developed. Okay, so I guess I've written a long, largely incoherent love letter to Give Me Some Truth after all. TL;DR: This is an utterly amazing novel. Read it. This is own-voices for Tuscarora Nation resident representation. The dual narration by Eric Gansworth and Brittany LeBorgne is excellent.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a sometimes wonderful, sometimes sad, and sometimes uncomfortable look at the lives of teens on a Native American reservation. I really appreciated Carson's awakening during this story, and his growing interest in activism. He considered himself a ChameleIndian, a Native American, who could pass as white. He knew he didn't suffer as much as some other Native Americans. Then his brother opened his eyes to some of the inequities and injustices right in their own backyard, and that was whe This was a sometimes wonderful, sometimes sad, and sometimes uncomfortable look at the lives of teens on a Native American reservation. I really appreciated Carson's awakening during this story, and his growing interest in activism. He considered himself a ChameleIndian, a Native American, who could pass as white. He knew he didn't suffer as much as some other Native Americans. Then his brother opened his eyes to some of the inequities and injustices right in their own backyard, and that was when Carson started to become a better person. I appreciated Carson's story, but I really loved Maggie's journey. After several years in the city, Maggie returns to the reservation. She had to adjust and learn some of the ways for the rez. She makes some questionable choices, but also discovers and nurtures her passion for art and music. I loved how she married her Native American culture with both her passions. I struggled a little with both her and her sister's romances. They were really inappropriate, but Maggie learned a lot from it, and it forced Carson to face some truths too. This book had a soundtrack provided by The Beatles, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono. In fact, Lennon and Ono as influences for several characters. They are mentioned and vignettes starring the two are interspersed throughout the book. Needless to say, the book was set in 1980, and I got choked up, when Lennon was murdered. Overall: An honest, thoughtful, and sometimes heartbreaking look into the challenges facing Native American teens.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Yes!
  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    This is a 4.5 for me for many reasons. When I received this ARC of Eric Gansworth's latest offering, I knew that it would land on the top of my to-read pile, but I also knew that I would want to savor it just as I savored his earlier If I Ever Get Out of Here. I had to wait until the winter break from work to find time for the book, which covers some of the same territory as the previous one, set in and near the reservation and the town of Niagara Falls and featuring a fictionalized version of t This is a 4.5 for me for many reasons. When I received this ARC of Eric Gansworth's latest offering, I knew that it would land on the top of my to-read pile, but I also knew that I would want to savor it just as I savored his earlier If I Ever Get Out of Here. I had to wait until the winter break from work to find time for the book, which covers some of the same territory as the previous one, set in and near the reservation and the town of Niagara Falls and featuring a fictionalized version of the Tuscarora Nation. Readers even meet some of the same characters from that title and get to know them much better while being introduced to some new ones. The story is told from the alternating points of view of Carson Mastick, who dreams of rock and roll glory and will stop at nothing to cobble together a band that he sees as his ticket to fame and escape from the reservation, and fifteen-year-old Magpie (Maggi) Bokoni, whose family has just moved back to the reservation after a few years in town. As Carson's plans for the band come together, Maggi comes to the attention of Jim Morgan, a thirty-year-old white man who begins a relentless pursuit of the teen girl. Maggi convinces herself that she's in love and what she and Jim have is real even while ignoring some of his unsavory qualities. Gansworth's fondness for music is once again felt in this novel as he uses song titles from the Beatles, from John Lennon, and from Yoko Ono as chapter titles while also making reference to music from that particular time period and allowing his novel to culminate with the shooting of John Lennon. The story is multifaceted and filled with so many passages that will make readers ache for its characters, including Lewis Blake and his uncle; it is impossible to mention them all, but I can promise that anyone reading this book will not finish it feeling emotionally unscathed. The audacity of a business named Custard's Last Stand--clever possibly but terribly insensitive--and posting a poster idealizing Custer's encounter with Native Americans and featuring a sign indicating that no Indians were to be served is not to be missed. Nor is Carson's awareness of his own ability to blend in with those around him because of his paler skin--he calls himself and others like him "ChamelelIndians"--an insignificant part of the story. These are characters whose stories ring true and whose truths seem universal. If nothing else, the book will challenge assumptions and remind readers just how hard it is to swallow certain truths about ourselves, about those we love and admire, and the unfairness of the world. As in life, so it is with this book as some parts of the story are left hanging and not resolved. This was the perfect read to tackle as a new year beckons.
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    3.5ish stars -- this ended up being a lot less about the "teens start a band" conceit than I thought it would be, which isn't necessarily a bad thing! It's very slice-of-life, focusing on six months in the year 1980. The world feels fully fleshed out and lived-in, with Gansworth not pulling any punches when it comes to the realities of life both on and off this specific reservation. I do feel like the pacing of the character arcs was a bit off, and I had a visceral reaction to Maggi's storyline 3.5ish stars -- this ended up being a lot less about the "teens start a band" conceit than I thought it would be, which isn't necessarily a bad thing! It's very slice-of-life, focusing on six months in the year 1980. The world feels fully fleshed out and lived-in, with Gansworth not pulling any punches when it comes to the realities of life both on and off this specific reservation. I do feel like the pacing of the character arcs was a bit off, and I had a visceral reaction to Maggi's storyline in particular (potential trigger warning for an older man's predatory behavior towards a minor). I'm relieved things didn't turn out as badly for her as I feared they would, but god, did it stress me out in that "I'm an adult reading about a kid who's clearly unaware of the potential dangers of the situation she's in" way. I also don't have any great love for John Lennon, so his presence as an icon/inspiration didn't have emotional heft for me.However, I did love Maggi's moment of clarity and the steely inner voice she finds by the end, as well as how she calls out Carson on his shit. Additionally, Carson feels exactly like that self-absorbed son with a good heart whom you want to both hug and shake. Love his grassroots organization of the protest against a racist store/store owner, and how he matures over the course of the text -- need him to keep working on seeing other people as autonomous beings with interiority of their own. Glad he gets called out within the text for failures of this, would like him to keep improving. I really wish there were another book of him and Maggi, if only so we could see how they keep building on the foundations of this book.
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  • Leah Moore
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! Great characters!Historical fiction set in 1980, very strong feeling of that time in the story, mostly through music. I seem to be drawn to YA that have music plots - there are a lot of them, and this is one of the best!I liked learning about life on their reservation, about highschool and the family business of art vending. Historical context of the treaties and issues with US and Canadian governments was well explained.The romance between the 15yr old girl and 35yr old man w I loved this book! Great characters!Historical fiction set in 1980, very strong feeling of that time in the story, mostly through music. I seem to be drawn to YA that have music plots - there are a lot of them, and this is one of the best!I liked learning about life on their reservation, about highschool and the family business of art vending. Historical context of the treaties and issues with US and Canadian governments was well explained.The romance between the 15yr old girl and 35yr old man was creepy, and the reader is suppoesed to know this right away.But you see him through her eyes too, and you see why she likes him. He laughs at her jokes and was "interested" in her art, unlike any other teen or adult in her life. He's actually awful and we see that. The author handles that arc very well.Hope this book is read by many because it covers so many things so well!
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    After reading this, I’m ashamed I haven’t read any of Gansworth’s other novels. Give Me Some Truth is masterfully written, with layers upon layers between characters and plot. It’s tough to say what the main story is: our main character’s need for growth that he can’t seem to see, the relation between the indigenous people and their white neighbours, the rise and fall of a teenage band, inter- and intra-family drama, or the romantic involvement of two teenagers and their older counterparts. Real After reading this, I’m ashamed I haven’t read any of Gansworth’s other novels. Give Me Some Truth is masterfully written, with layers upon layers between characters and plot. It’s tough to say what the main story is: our main character’s need for growth that he can’t seem to see, the relation between the indigenous people and their white neighbours, the rise and fall of a teenage band, inter- and intra-family drama, or the romantic involvement of two teenagers and their older counterparts. Really, it’s all this and more.Teachers, this is one you should have on your shelves, with one caveat (this is the minor spoiler)—there are two relationships between teenage girls and men in their 20s and 30s, respectively. One of these is with a former teacher.This is a book I will likely have on my “best of 2018” lists when it comes to the end of the year.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Gansworth's latest novel follows the formation of a band and their quest to win a Battle of the Bands through the viewpoint of two Native American teens, Carson and Maggi. I liked the distinct voices of these two characters, and the glimpse I, as a White reader, got into life on Carson's and Maggi's reservation. While the characters don't always make the best decisions, I found them to be well-developed and realistic indiv I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Gansworth's latest novel follows the formation of a band and their quest to win a Battle of the Bands through the viewpoint of two Native American teens, Carson and Maggi. I liked the distinct voices of these two characters, and the glimpse I, as a White reader, got into life on Carson's and Maggi's reservation. While the characters don't always make the best decisions, I found them to be well-developed and realistic individuals. There were times I felt like the plot meandered a bit, but I was invested enough in the characters and their journey that I kept turning pages.Recommended for musicians and fans of music, particularly fans of the Beatles.
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  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    diverse teen fiction (Indians living on a reservation near US-Canada border, Niagara Falls)Carson is about 17--a high school senior and Maggi is 15; Carson's story revolves around getting a band together to compete for a prize trip to NY (his ticket off the Rez) and Maggi's story revolves around her "romance" with a 30-something jerkwad (he's not as bad as some of them, but he's not great either) and her eventual realization that she wants more out of her relationship. Beatles' fandom (since thi diverse teen fiction (Indians living on a reservation near US-Canada border, Niagara Falls)Carson is about 17--a high school senior and Maggi is 15; Carson's story revolves around getting a band together to compete for a prize trip to NY (his ticket off the Rez) and Maggi's story revolves around her "romance" with a 30-something jerkwad (he's not as bad as some of them, but he's not great either) and her eventual realization that she wants more out of her relationship. Beatles' fandom (since this takes place in the late 70s post-breakup) winds throughout.Note: this isn't a "clean" read--they don't end up going as far as Jim would like, but everything else is described in (thankfully sparse) detail. There are also some scenes with alcoholism and abusive parents.
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  • Garren
    January 1, 1970
    Loved "If I Ever Get Out of Here." Slogged through this, barely. There are plenty of good ingredients here (music-making detail, emotionally intelligent[ish] teen boys, microaggression demonstrations, same great humor), but it's a rambling mess overall. It's hard to see what could be done to fix it, except perhaps to have made this a series of short stories with more POV characters from this community (such as in "A Taste of Honey" by Jabari Asim). As it is, it relies far too heavily on callback Loved "If I Ever Get Out of Here." Slogged through this, barely. There are plenty of good ingredients here (music-making detail, emotionally intelligent[ish] teen boys, microaggression demonstrations, same great humor), but it's a rambling mess overall. It's hard to see what could be done to fix it, except perhaps to have made this a series of short stories with more POV characters from this community (such as in "A Taste of Honey" by Jabari Asim). As it is, it relies far too heavily on callbacks to the first book while trying to be a standalone. Still pushing the first book in this series toward library patrons, but I'm not going to give this one special promotion.
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  • jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I'm supposed to be out touristingbut I'm in finishing this instead. There's so much to love about this book, from the richness of the voices to the window (for me) aspect to the decision to take Yoko Ono's art seriously (because even in 2018 I hear her name mostly in reference to how she maliciously destroyed the Beatles and really anyone saying that sucks). I also love that neither of the narrators lives a sainted life of kindness and self-awareness and that that's okay: they're wonderful, real I'm supposed to be out touristingbut I'm in finishing this instead. There's so much to love about this book, from the richness of the voices to the window (for me) aspect to the decision to take Yoko Ono's art seriously (because even in 2018 I hear her name mostly in reference to how she maliciously destroyed the Beatles and really anyone saying that sucks). I also love that neither of the narrators lives a sainted life of kindness and self-awareness and that that's okay: they're wonderful, real people who grow and change.
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  • Amy Jacobs
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately I was unable to enjoy this book as much as others.I had to force myself to finish reading it, and I feel bad for even admitting that.Its not that the writing was bad - or even the plot- its just that I couldn't seem to connect with the characters enough to even want to keep reading chapter after chapter.Maybe I will try again at a later date.
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  • Lauren Phelps
    January 1, 1970
    It’s helpful to read Gansworth’s other novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here, before this one as the many of the characters and plot lines overlap (even though this is technically not a sequel.) This is my least favorite of the two books, but I enjoyed listening to Gansworth himself narrating on the audiobook.
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  • S.M.
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know anything about the Beatles, or John Lennon, or Yoko Ono, which is how I know I missed some of the more subtle stuff in this book. It was still incredible, though--well written and emotionally true from start to finish. I loved the dual POV. It fit better and contributed to the story more than any other multi-POV story I can think off offhand.
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  • Justin
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the plot and the main character arcs, as neither really moved the needle for me by the end of the book. But my lukewarm feelings there are more than balanced by the deep, powerful sense of setting Gansworth instills, both in terms of the music, art, and fashion of the time period, and the complex depiction of life on a reservation for young people.
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  • Gretchen
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from the 2017 YALSA Symposium.I got to chapter 7 in this book, but I just couldn't finish it. Initially, it reminded me a bit of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but it quickly lost that feel. It just felt like the story wasn't going anywhere.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    This one was slow going for me. However it is a great book.
  • Margo
    January 1, 1970
    Every bit as great a read as If I Ever Get Out of Here, with even more substance. Well worth the read.
  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    There is so much to talk about in this epic, character-driven tale. It's one I don't think I will soon forget. I can't wait to read If I Ever Get Out of Here soon!
  • Kelly Koppang
    January 1, 1970
    I'm excited to discuss this book with others - I think there is a LOT to talk about.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Such a realistic portrayal from an authentic voice. The characters and plot are intense and engaging. Note that there is significant content.
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Life on the Rez isn't easy, but neither is life in the city. Set in 1980s upstate New York, on the Tuscarora reservation and nearby cities, this isn't a sequel to If I Ever Get Out of Here but is set in the same world, with many of the same characters. The blend of reservation life and life outside is skillful, and there's nothing about the lives of Carson, Maggi, Lewis and their families and friends that won't be both familiar and real for readers. The "real world" intrudes in the form of a rac Life on the Rez isn't easy, but neither is life in the city. Set in 1980s upstate New York, on the Tuscarora reservation and nearby cities, this isn't a sequel to If I Ever Get Out of Here but is set in the same world, with many of the same characters. The blend of reservation life and life outside is skillful, and there's nothing about the lives of Carson, Maggi, Lewis and their families and friends that won't be both familiar and real for readers. The "real world" intrudes in the form of a racist diner, racist coworkers and John Lennon's death - and there's a squicky couple of relationships. For readers looking for another view of Indian life, this (and the previous book) are must reads.ARC provided by publisher.
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  • Jade Kessinger
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book at Yallwest.3.5 stars. Give Me Some Truth is a very unique book with characters that have different motivations than most young adult protagonists. They deal with different problems because of their culture and their society, which made this book very interesting. I enjoyed seeing the differences to my life and other novels I have read. At times, this story did tend to drag, and it seemed as though nothing important was happening. However this led to a gradual buil I received an ARC of this book at Yallwest.3.5 stars. Give Me Some Truth is a very unique book with characters that have different motivations than most young adult protagonists. They deal with different problems because of their culture and their society, which made this book very interesting. I enjoyed seeing the differences to my life and other novels I have read. At times, this story did tend to drag, and it seemed as though nothing important was happening. However this led to a gradual buildup and set up the faster paced sections to be even more enjoyable.
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  • Reving
    January 1, 1970
    https://revingsblog.blogspot.com/2018...
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