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, Romance, Music

Give Me Some Truth Review

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Brenda Ayala
    January 1, 1970
    Carson was annoying, and Maggie’s “love” was too silly for me. On the flip side, I appreciated that a man in his thirties was portrayed as creepy for going for a younger woman. I read a YA book earlier this year with the same kind of relationship but it was meant to be romantic. I didn’t hate it, but as usual I questioned the man’s motives and maturity.The best part of the book for me was the look into what it’s like living on the reservations. I recently learned about a lot of the stuff depicte Carson was annoying, and Maggie’s “love” was too silly for me. On the flip side, I appreciated that a man in his thirties was portrayed as creepy for going for a younger woman. I read a YA book earlier this year with the same kind of relationship but it was meant to be romantic. I didn’t hate it, but as usual I questioned the man’s motives and maturity.The best part of the book for me was the look into what it’s like living on the reservations. I recently learned about a lot of the stuff depicted in the book; how they lack basic amenities, how teenage pregnancy and illiteracy is extremely prevalent, and how unemployment is a huge problem. I have no idea how to even begin to fix those issues, but I love that the author is giving voice to a group of people who have long been ignored.
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