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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: My Name is Not Easy, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 7 of 7
1. My Name is Not Easy – Diversity Reading Challenge 2015

I have chosen to Review My Name Is Not Easy as part of the celebration of Native American Heritage during the month of November. Title: My Name is Not Easy Author: Debby Dahl Edwardson Publisher: Marshall Cavendish, 2011 Themes: Alaska, Alaska Natives, Indians, Whites, … Continue reading

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2. Library of Congress: "52 Great Reads"

With the National Book Festival happening this weekend in DC, I was looking over their webpages. On the "Educator's Share" page is this: 

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands is distributed by the Library of Congress's Center for the Book during the National Book Festival. Why not read the book suggested for your state or district and then learn, through these books, about the other places that interest you?

I downloaded the page and am happy to see Debby Dahl Edwardson's outstanding My Name Is Not Easy, a finalist for the National Book Award, on the Alaska list:

Here's a larger image of the cover:

States submit several titles, but only one is listed on the "52 Great Reads" list that you can download. If, however, you click on the map on that page, you can see additional books. If you click on Minnesota, this is what you see:

The book on the bottom is Awesiinyensag. Here's a larger image of it:

Available from Birchbark Books, Awesiiyensag is written entirely in Anishinaabemowin, which is the language spoken by the Ojibwe people. It is a big hit in Minnesota and was featured last year at the National Book Festival. 

Congratulations, Debby, and Wiigwaas Press! I'm glad to see your work featured in DC.

0 Comments on Library of Congress: "52 Great Reads" as of 9/22/2012 12:33:00 PM
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3. Debby Dahl Edwardson's MY NAME IS NOT EASY is a finalist for the National Book Award!

A heart congratulations to Debby Dahl Edwardson! Today, her My Name is Not Easy was named as a finalist for the National Book Award! Here's a book trailer about the book:

In addition to the page at the NBA site, take a look at Debby's website. I'll add blog posts and news articles about the book as I find them.

1 Comments on Debby Dahl Edwardson's MY NAME IS NOT EASY is a finalist for the National Book Award!, last added: 10/13/2011
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4. MY NAME IS NOT EASY... on Kindle Fire?

This news is interesting! If I read it right, I think that Debby Dahl Edwardson's My Name is Not Easy is going to be available on Kindle...

The press release says something about "the brilliant touchstone screen" of Kindle Fire. I wonder if they plan to add images to Debby's book?

2 Comments on MY NAME IS NOT EASY... on Kindle Fire?, last added: 12/8/2011
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5. Finding, Assessing, and Celebrating Authentic Indigenous Literature

Are you going to the 2012 conference of the Pacific Northwest Library Association? If so, head over a day early for a free workshop (costs will be covered by the Alaska State Library)!

Debby Dahl Edwardson, author of the outstanding My Name Is Not Easy, and I will do a four hour pre-conference session on "Finding, Assessing, and Celebrating Authentic Indigenous Literature."

See the sticker on the cover of Debby's book? "National Book Award Finalist." Saying it again, Debby's book is outstanding.

Each time I look at that cover, I think of all my uncles. When I look through the yearbooks from Santa Fe Indian School (the ones my parents saved), I see my uncles with that haircut... I suppose it was "the thing" back then (the 1950s), but nonetheless, that cover gives me pause every time I look at it. I'm excited to work with Debby on this session.

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Place: Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Spa

2 Comments on Finding, Assessing, and Celebrating Authentic Indigenous Literature, last added: 5/31/2012
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6. Week-end Book Review: My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Debby Dahl Edwardson,
My Name Is Not Easy
Marshall Cavendish, 2011.

Ages: 12+

What’s in a name? For many people, it stands for something that directly correlates to that person’s sense of identity. In My Name Is Not Easy, author Debby Dahl Edwardson has taken this idea of identity (whether it’s through a name, an action, or relationships with others) to show how it shapes her characters. There’s Luke Aaluk, whose Inupiaq name has been changed because it’s “too hard” to pronounce, and his two younger brothers, Bunna and Isaac. There’s Chickie, a “white Eskimo” who doesn’t fit into either world. Donna and Junior, both quiet and observant, are on the sidelines, but yearning to finally break out and make a name for themselves. Finally, there’s Amiq and Sonny, the “alpha males” of the respective Indian and Eskimo cliques who are constantly butting heads for control.

The story follows these young children for a span of four years (1960-1964) and begins with the Aaluk family discovering that their boys, Luke, Bunna, and Isaac are being shipped off hundreds of miles away to a boarding school called Sacred Heart School to become “good Christians.” As the story unfolds, the reader learns of the characters’ histories that have made them who they are today (alcoholic parents, abandonment). Edwardson steers clear of any romanticized image of Eskimos and Indians and touches on the hardships that many of them have faced through poverty and ethnocentrism.

The book not only addresses native culture, but also some of the major events that occurred in Alaska during the 1960s, such as Project Chariot.  This was a real proposal made by the US Atomic Energy Commission as a way to demonstrate the peaceful use of atomic energy, and the military really did conduct experiments on native villages using iodine-131. Edwardson doesn’t go into much detail regarding these events, but rather, she uses them as a way of conveying even more ominous things to come. All of the characters are unsure of how or why these events are occurring, but they know it can’t be good for them, their families, or their communities.

My Name Is Not Easy is a moving story and while some of the topics can be difficult to read about, Edwardson has ultimately created something invaluable, a tale to keep history alive and educate people now as well as future generations to come.

Keilin Huang
August 2012

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7. MY NAME IS NOT EASY, by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Yesterday I read Debby Dahl Edwardson's My Name Is Not Easy. It is a powerful novel, moving me in the same ways that Joseph Bruchac's Hidden Roots did.  Powerful governmental institutions did some really horrible things to indigenous people.

My Name Is Not Easy is one of those novels that brings those horrible events to a wide audience. Joe wrote about sterilization in his novel; Debby writes about using Alaska Native children in boarding schools to conduct experiments involving radioactive iodine. I didn't know about those tests.

There's more, too. A child being taken from his family, abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest...  I'll have more to say later.

Because of the story itself, and the power and grace and beauty of Debby's writing as she recounts this family story, I highly recommend My Name Is Not Easy, and it will be one of the books I discuss when I do workshops and talks with teachers and librarians.

Read Debby's blog to see where she'll be speaking about the book. There, you'll also find contact information. Invite her to speak at your school. She lives in Alaska, but does Skype visits, too.

1 Comments on MY NAME IS NOT EASY, by Debby Dahl Edwardson, last added: 10/9/2011
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