My Name Is Not Easy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.99
  • Save: $1.96 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Item is Fulfilled by AMAZON - Eligible for FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping. Amazon Customer Service with Delivery Tracking. Receive your item in 3-5 Days!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

My Name Is Not Easy Hardcover – October 1, 2011


See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$16.03
$8.00 $1.74
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Showcase%20Weekly%20Deal


Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

My Name Is Not Easy + Shooting Kabul
Price for both: $22.32

Buy the selected items together
  • Shooting Kabul $6.29

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761459804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761459804
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Told by five different narrators covering the time period 1960-65, this is essentially Luke's story, whose native and, as the title indicates, difficult-to-pronounce name is not revealed until toward the end. Forbidden to use their language, fed unfamiliar food and under the thumb of priests and nuns, some strict and some kind but whose religion is unfamiliar, Luke's homesickness is visceral. The good wishes and intentions of other children, their teachers and their parents all fail to offer comfort or to soften the hardships endured. Details of the outside world and the concerns of the day are woven in to the narrative, often highlighting how astonishingly oblivious the world is to the reality of life in Alaska. The rivalry between Indian and Eskimo is made equally vivid, along with the stereotypes and bias that both sides believe about the other. Readers will see these children become adolescents, imbibing of the rebellion that the decade is known for in the lower 48 and allowing proximity to build bridges of understanding and hope, even in the midst of death and loss. Not herself Iñupiaq, Edwardson (Blessing's Bead, 2009) makes clear in a note that this is a reflection of the childhood experiences of her contemporaries, including her husband, on whom the character of Luke is based.
--Kirkus Reveiws

STARRED REVIEW
Ages 12+
Prior to the Molly Hootch Act of 1976, which required Alaska to build and staff high schools in even the smallest of the rural villages, children who wished to continue their education beyond what was offered in their communities traveled to BIA or church-supported boarding schools in the lower 48 or more populated parts of Alaska. Luke's Inupiaq experience of leaving his home near the Arctic Circle in 1960 to journey with his two younger brothers to the Catholic sponsored Sacred Heart School is based in large part on Edwardson's husband's memories of boarding school. The author unflinchingly explores both the positive and negative aspects of being away from home at such a young age. Nothing is familiar to Luke and his fellow students; the terrain, the food, the language are strange, and their struggle with feelings of homesickness and alienation is heart-wrenching. Edwardson's skillful use of dialogue and her descriptions of rural Alaska as well as boarding-school life invoke a strong sense of empathy and compassion in readers as they experience Luke's emotions along with him. It is rare that an author can write about a controversial subject such as this without prejudice. Edwardson is to be applauded for her depth of research and her ability to portray all sides of the equation in a fair and balanced manner while still creating a very enjoyable read.
--School Library Journal, Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library

Ages 12+
Luke Aaluk and his younger brothers Bunna and Isaac are sent by their mother to Sacred Heart, a Catholic boarding school to the south of their Alaskan community, where Eskimo and Indian students are enculturated in white customs and values. Isaac, who is technically too young to be enrolled, is promptly sent off into foster care without the consent, or even notification, of their mother. Luke and Bunna make an attempt at escape, but they are tracked down by one of the more open-minded priests and convinced they should give the school another chance. The boys conflict with the white Catholic authorities is exacerbated by tensions within the school, pitting Indians against Eskimos and the few marginalized white children also in attendance. Moreover, Cold War pressures involve many of the Inupiaq students in a government testing program in which they ingest radioactive iodine to help researchers investigate how they withstand extreme cold. Eventually leaders of the school factions realize that bonding rather than fighting is in their best interest, and they take a bold stand against the school administration by tracking down Isaac and exposing the system of abducting indigenous children to be placed within white families. Edwardson, author of Blessing's Bead (BCCB 2/10), returns to the complex world of Alaskan culture and history here with this dramatic story. Readers who associate draconian Indian schools with an earlier period may be surprised to see the system continuing here well into the 1960s. Middle-schoolers who are studying the African-American civil rights movement playing out in the Lower 48 will find compelling comparisons and contrasts in the struggles of Luke and his classmates to advance into the wider world while retaining their cultural identity.
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November Issue

About the Author

Debby Dahl Edwardson grew up in Minnesota, where she spent summers at her family cabin on an island in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. She earned a BA from Colorado College, attended Nansenskolen in Norway, and has lived for over thirty years in Barrow, the northernmost community in Alaska. She earned an MFA from Vermont College in 2005. Debby and her husband George have seven children. Her picture book, Whale Snow (Charlesbridge, 2003), was named to the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society and the CBC/NSST lists and was named Best Picture Book by IPPY. Her first novel, Blessing's Bead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009) was selected by the Junior Library Guild and named to the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and Booklist's Top 10 First Novels for Youth lists. Her novel, My Name is Not Easy, is a 2011 National Book Award Finalist.

More About the Author

I live far far away in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost community on the North American Continent--the top of the world, actually.

I've lived here pretty much all of my adult life and this place and its people, the Inupiaq Eskimos of Alaska, have shaped who I am as a writer. Most of the stories I write are set within this cultural context. It is not the culture I was not born into but it is the one I belong to, the one that has become home to me as a human being and as an artist.

Visit my website at www.debbydahledwardson.com and my blog: http://wordsfromthetop.blogspot.com.

Customer Reviews

The book may be considered a "young adult" novel by some.
M. A. Franznick
Good way to learn geography and historical culture of the state.
Karen Lewis
It was well written with each character being well developed.
Tara Myers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Nature Painter on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am posting this because Amazon has no information about this book, not even a summary. This is the summary from the National Book Foundation page on the nominees for the 2011 National Book Award Finalists in Young People's Literature:

ABOUT THE BOOK

Luke knows his Iñupiaq name is full of sounds white people can't say. So he leaves it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles away from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School, students--Eskimo, Indian, White--line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there's some kind of war going on. Here, speaking Iñupiaq--or any native language--is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he's not the only one. There's smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader--if he doesn't self-destruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small, quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. They each have their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School--and the wider world--will never be the same.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debby Dahl Edwardson grew up in Minnesota, where she spent summers at her family cabin on an island in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. She earned a BA from Colorado College, attended Nansenskolen in Norway, and has lived for over thirty years in Barrow, the northernmost community in Alaska. She earned an MFA from Vermont College in 2005. Debby and her husband George have seven children. Her picture book, Whale Snow (Charlesbridge, 2003), was named to the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society and the CBC/NSST lists and was named Best Picture Book by IPPY.
Read more ›
7 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jane Buchanan on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The most powerful stories have qualities that are unique and universal. Debby Dahl Edwardson's MY NAME IS NOT EASY is such a story. In some ways, it is a classic boarding school story, and in others it is uniquely Alaskan. Edwardson draws characters from distinct backgrounds and cultures and throws them together in a strict Catholic boarding school where they clash and bond and grow together. There is heartbreaking loss, there is new love, and there is a growing understanding of the importance of standing up for what you believe in and the power of civil disobedience. Edwardson's lyrical prose draws the reader in to the landscape and culture of northern Alaska, a world that is foreign to most of us. Yet she does it in a way that is not preachy or didactic. She evokes a world that is in transition yet holding on to and respecting its traditions. The characters through whom she tells this tale are richly drawn, and their voices are strong. Their pain is real, as is their joy. In the end, I breathed a sigh of relief, but I also felt a strong sense of loss. I didn't want to leave this place and these lives. I wanted to know what happened next. But, as the best writers do, Edwardson has left that to the reader to ponder and to understand. MY NAME IS NOT EASY is a special book by a talented writer who provides a window into a world so different from my own, and yet not so different after all.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Franznick on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was loaned this book by an intelligent physical therapist after I broke my collarbone. After a few sessions with her, she saw my interest in learning about my new home, Alaska.

The prose is unique, and direct. While reading the story, you are given glimpses into the minds of the characters.

The book may be considered a "young adult" novel by some. Isn't that what you want to be: a young adult?

I was surprised that I - this non-Alaskan 50 year old male - was so drawn into this story. However, I am now in Alaska 15 months, far from Anchorage, and I am beginning to understand the unique story of Alaska. Beautiful Land, echoes of social failures, challenges to manage our resources.

Read it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Linnell-Olsen on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Told through the eyes of four different youth, "My Name Is Not Easy" is a historical fiction piece that will resonate with todays youth. The plot is centered around an Inupiaq Eskimo boy who has two names - his Inupiaq name is difficult for white people to pronounce, and his other name is Luke. Luke and his siblings are sent from their home above the Arctic Circle to a Catholic boarding school 60 miles from Anchorage. The story takes place during the 1960s. The school is full of mostly Eskimo and Indian children, from many different villages. A few white children are also at the school. Ethnic tensions, torn apart families, and struggles with identity are the main themes of the book. These are some of the same issues that young adults throughout the US will be able to identify with.
The author was inspired for this story by her husbands life. Dahl-Edwardson married into Inupiaq culture. The historical events referenced in the story were well researched. This book could be used in grades 7-12 classrooms to learn about Alaskan history and culture.
I personally enjoyed reading the book, feeling as though the characters were very much like the some of the people I have met while living in Alaska. It is really easy to see why Dahl-Edwardson is up for some presitgious book awards.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?