Give Me Some Truth
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Give Me Some Truth is a coming-of-age tale set on an Indian reservation near Niagara Falls in 1980, involving many of the characters first seen in If I Ever Get Out of Here. The title is also the title of a John Lennon song, and the story is drenched in references and plot themes related to Lennon, his post-Beatles work (musical and political), and murder, all of which are touchstones and inspiration for many of the characters. A character's nonfatal wound in a robbery gone wrong is important to the plot. Profanity, smoking, drinking, and dicey sexual situations are plentiful. For example, two teens sneak off to be with their much older boyfriends, and both protagonists obsess about losing their virginity, preferably soon. Racism, poverty, and pure meanness are daily challenges. Alternating narrators Carson (17) and Maggi (15) are flawed, engaging, and relatable as they try to find a righteous path, be true to themselves, dodge their parents' wrath, and maybe be better friends and family members.
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What's the Story?
As GIVE ME SOME TRUTH opens, it's 1980 on "the Rez," an Indian reservation in upstate New York, when 17-year-old Carson Mastick gets word of an upcoming battle of the bands, with a trip to New York City as the prize. Carson, who's a bit full of himself, has always wanted to go to New York. He figures his friend Lewis (last seen in If I Ever Get Out of Here), who's even more obsessed with the Beatles than he is, will be into it, and hey, maybe they'll get to see John Lennon, who lives there now. Also in the newly formed Dog Street Devils: 15-year-old Magpie (Maggi) Bokoni, who's just moved back from the city with her family. Carson's got eyes for her, but he can't compete with the attention and gifts of her 30-year-old, Trans Am-driving white-guy colleague from work, whose creepiness is obvious to everyone but her.
Is It Any Good?
This relatable, gritty, harrowing, heartwarming coming-of-age tale explores John Lennon's life-changing effect on "the Rez" in 1980. Native American academic/author Eric Gansworth infuses Give Me Some Truth with a lot of history, references to political movements and writers of the time, and constant lyrics, song titles, album cover descriptions, and other rock culture, especially Beatles songs, which will delight Beatles fans and probably mystify readers whose musical tastes are different.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Give Me Some Truth shows the shared grief over John Lennon's death -- even among sworn enemies. Do you find that if you and someone else like the same music, you get along, even if you don't have much else in common?
Why do you think the Beatles were so important to people around the world? Do you like their music? What do you think made it so popular? Do you think any other bands are that popular today?
Does your family have stories and traditions passed down over the generations? Do you have any favorites? If you were going to start one, what would it be?
- Author: Eric Gansworth
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School, History
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
- Publication date: May 29, 2018
- Number of pages: 432
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
Our Editors Recommend
If I Ever Get Out of Here
Relatable tale of music-loving Native Tuscarora boy in '70s.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Funny, gritty, and powerful novel of growing up on the rez.
The Smell of Other People's Houses
Poignant coming-of-age tale about four 1970 Alaskan teens.
For kids who love historical fiction and Native American books
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