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Hidden Roots Paperback – January 31, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (January 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0557711681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0557711680
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-Small for his 11 years and the last picked for playground games, Harold doesn't much care that he's friendless. His mother is also a loner; his father works at the paper mill and everything about his job makes him angry--chemicals spilling into the Hudson, the gnashing cogs of machine Number Three that will rip off a limb if you're not careful, and the double shifts that never bring in enough money. Life is hard in this upstate New York town during the early 1960s. Harold knows that his family has secrets; some are too threatening to make sense of while his mother tries to hide others. Uncle Louis visits mostly while his father is at work, showing Harold the wonders of this Adirondack wilderness. Bruchac's story takes its roots in the 1930s Native American sterilization program known as the Vermont Eugenics Program. This chilling reality haunted the Abenaki people, threatened their annihilation, and drove them into hiding for three decades. As Harold learns near the end of the story, his family, victims of that program, escaped to New York and claimed a French heritage. "Uncle Louis" is actually his mother's father. This purposeful but discerning book will prompt discussion and further research into the plight of the Native people from the Green Mountain State. Yet within this historical framework of the shameful deeds of man, pride and integrity hold the family together.--Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed Abenaki children's book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac's poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored more than 50 books for adults and children. For more information about Joseph, please visit his website www.josephbruchac.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Green Mountain Observer on August 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Bruchac crafts a moving story of a young boy's experience in a troubled home. Sonny's father, Jake, is plagued by episodic anger and is a wife batterer. The reasons for Jake's behavior and ultimately, sadness, are revealed near the end of the book. Sonny's mother and Uncle Louis provide the nurturing that Sonny needs as he navigates adolescence including the difficulties of being bullied and excluded at school. Uncle Louis becomes Sonny's true life teacher as he is exposed to both the mysteries and extraordinary beauty in nature. Bruchac's descriptions in these scenes are to be treasured.

The only failing in Bruchac's book is the odd addition of eugenic experimentation as the source for the explanation of the family `secret'. This plot twist is unnecessary and disrupts the wonderful flow of the story as Sonny discovers his true ethnic heritage. The reader would be helped if Bruchac could explore the history of eugenics in Vermont within a different story that provides a more complete explanation of what happened and who was affected. Tagging this on to `Hidden Roots' without a more thorough treatment is unsatisfying to curious readers.

Overall however, "Hidden Roots" is a beautifully written story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KAT on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book. I really like Bruchac's writing. The afterwords, which includes the historical details that the book is based on, is fantastic for anyone looking to teach about contempory native peoples. There is, also, lots of good information on the Abenaki's, which is excellent for teaching about New England and some Canadian native peoples.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really loved to read this book, while travelling the NY countryside. Home of the Abenaki indians.
Joseph, having met you made it even more special to me..!
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