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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hidden Roots by Joseph Bruchac - BACK IN PRINT

2010 edition presented
Greenfield Review Press
Cover of Original edition
published by Scholastic, 2004
 If you purchase one YA book this year - purchase this one!
This is an important book for literature reading groups integrating social studies with language arts goals/objectives.
Integrate with a study of the Holocaust precipitated by Adolf Hitler's  policies; examine prejudices in our United States History, bringing history home with honesty.  READ HIDDEN ROOTS by Joseph Bruchac.

A book that deeply moved me for all time is the novel, Hidden Roots by Joseph Bruchac.  Originally published by Scholastic in 2004 the book was described as "11-yr-old Sonny lives with his mother and father up near the Canadian border. Theirs isn’t a peaceful household, given his father Jake’s sudden rages, which can turn physical in an instant. Sonny’s refuge is his mother, and his uncle Louis, a quiet, wise old man who seems to always appear when Sonny and his mother need help most. Jake hates when Louis comes around, but luckily he works long hours at the nearby paper mill. Through an unexpected friendship with a new school librarian, Sonny gains enough confidence to stand up to his his father, and to finally confront..." -- this description though does not do justice to the book and its potential for presenting a part of our American History that is seldom if ever addressed in standard text books.  At the heart of the book's conflict is the fact that the book is set in upstate New York and is driven by the historical facts surrounding the exodus of Abenaki Indians from nearby Vermont during the state-sponsored ethnic cleansing beginning in 1931.  During that time forced sterilization threatened the very existence of the Native Americans and they fled Vermont, sometimes giving their children to white families to be raised in a shroud of fear of being discovered as "Indian."  Family secrets held close -- and hidden.  Those interested can read more about  the Eugenics sterilization efforts headed by Dr. Perkins on a essay on the Mount Holyoke College class site at which details Dr. Perkins work.

Scholastic took Hidden Roots out-of-print a while ago but its importance to the American History one never reads in text-books is tremendous.  Debbie Reese wrote about the book on her "American Indians in Children's Literature blog at  The sinister behavior of Adolph Hitler during the World War II era, is well-known, well-documented and considered one of the most heinous campaigns in the history of the modern world.  The connection between Adolf Hitler's policies and his inspiration from the Eugenics efforts in the United States is chilling.  This piece of United States history should NOT be shoved in the corner anymore than the shameful establishment of US based Japanese Concentration Camps should be negated.

So if you buy one book this year - buy Hidden Roots -- NOW back in print.  Here's a note from Debbie Reese (reprinted with permission) detailing how one may buy this important book.

Those of you who wanted to order a copy of Joseph Bruchac's HIDDEN ROOTS can
do so now...

If you're already up-to-date on it being out-of-print and efforts to get it
republished, and you just want to order it, here's info:

The book is now available at Native
Authorsfor $9.99.
Bookstores and other retailers can be multiple copies at the standard 40%
discount by

1) emailing or,

2) by faxing a purchase order to (518) 583-9741.

The book is being published by the Greenfield Review Press (mailing address
PO Box 308, Greenfield Center, NY 12833).

If you want to know more about the book and efforts to get it back in print,
here's that info:

Have a good day, and share this news with librarians, parents, teachers who
work with children and books.

Debbie Reese

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