If I Ever Get Out of Here
- Age Range: 12 - 15 years
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 870 (What's this?)
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; Reprint edition (April 28, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545417317
- ISBN-13: 978-0545417310
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
From School Library Journal Gr 6-9–In 1970s upstate New York, Lewis Blakeinhabits two separate universes: the reservation where he lives in povertywith his mother and uncle, and school, where the fact that he is AmericanIndian (and his sardonic sense of humor) has made him an outcast and a victimof bullying. The seventh grader has begun to accept his status until a new kidshows up in his class. George Haddonfield grew up on air force bases aroundthe world and doesn't seem to know or care about the divisions between thereservation kids and everyone else. Although Lewis and George bond over theirshared love of the Beatles, George's friendly overtures to visit areconstantly rebuffed by Lewis, who isn't sure if their tentative friendshipwill be able to withstand the jarring differences between George's home andhis own. Can a love of rock and roll overcome all? Lewis's relationships withhis mother, his uncle, and even his peers ring true and draw readers deep intohis world. Life on the reservation is so vividly depicted that scenes setelsewhere, such as the air force base where George lives, feel a little flatlydrawn in comparison. Nonetheless, the overall tenor and wry humor of thisnovel more than make up for its weaknesses.–Evelyn Khoo Schwartz, GeorgetownDay School, Washington, DCα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a whollyowned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --Thistext refers to the Audio CD edition. Read more From Booklist Starred ReviewLewis Blake is bright and scrawny and the only kid from the TuscaroraReservation tracked with the brainiacs at their county junior high in upstateNew York. For the duration of sixth grade, he was invisible, but when burly,polite George Haddonfield arrives on the Air Force base and shows up in theirseventh-grade class, Lewis might have found a friend. The boys bond over girlsand music (the Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings, and Queen—it is the 1970s,after all), slowly letting their guards down, but when a vicious, well-connected bully sets his sights on Lewis, their friendship is sorely tested.Gansworth, himself an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, explores theboys’ organic relationship with generosity and tenderness and unflinchingclarity, sidestepping stereotypes to offer two genuine characters navigatingthe unlikely intersection of two fully realized worlds. All of the supportingcharacters, especially the adults—from Lewis’ beleaguered mother andiconoclastic uncle to George’s upright father and delicate German mother, anda host of teachers and administrators who look right past the daily violenceperpetrated on Lewis—are carefully, beautifully drawn. And although Gansworthmanages the weighty themes of racism and poverty with nuance and finesse, atits heart, this is a rare and freehearted portrait of true friendship. Grades7-10. --Thom Barthelmess --This text refers to the Audio CD edition. Read moreSee all Editorial Reviews
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