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Publisher's Summary

Luke knows his I´nupiaq name is full of sounds white people can’t say. He knows he’ll have to leave it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles from their Arctic village.

At Sacred Heart School things are different. Instead of family, there are students - Eskimo, Indian, White - who line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there’s some kind of war going on. And instead of comforting words like tutu and maktak, there’s English. Speaking I´nupiaq - 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. Buthe’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. Each has their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School - and in the wider world - will never be the same.

©2012 Debby Dahl Edwardson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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Performance

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  • MARK
  • United States
  • 11-05-12

Another America.

If you could sum up My Name Is Not Easy in three words, what would they be?

Youthful adventure, expose.

What did you like best about this story?

The narration, multiple voices.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl and Amy Rubinate ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

40 below was not the problem...we have the solutions for that.

Any additional comments?

My wife read the book, and when she heard the epilogue used as the prologue, she was disappointed for me, because she got a second set of insights by learning the background after reading the adventure. I see her point, but it's too late for me, since the cat's out of the bag. I didn't know any better, so it was O.K. for me. If I could hear it again for the first time, I would skip past the prologue, then go back and listen to it later, get the benefit of additional insights to stimulate even more consideration about this saga.<br/>

40 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • DM
  • Weaverville, CA, United States
  • 04-06-12

Captivating Story

What does Nick Podehl and Amy Rubinate bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Amy Rubinate and Nick Podehl do justice to the superbly developed characters in this captivating story. The book is written and narrated with such skill that the listener begins to see through the eyes of the boarding school students and feel with the heart of each character. It would be hoped that this book would be added to Junior High and High School Reading lists and included in classroom discussions.This neglected chapter of the history of Native Americans has waited too long to be told. It's audience reaches far beyond young adult readers. In addition to adding to our cultural awareness, this compelling story is difficult to set aside both while listening and after.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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fascinating history

The narration by, Amy Rubinate & Nick Podehl goes back and forth as we hear Luke & Chickie’s stories (they were the main two there were other stories too) both narrators are fantastic and make you feel the various emotions of these characters. Both narrators were new to me and I very much enjoyed their narration and will look for other books they have narrated!

This was a part of history I had never really heard about, how the native Alaskan children were sent away to catholic schools and were given easier names, a new language and taken away from everything they knew. This is a true story written as fiction, the forward explains why it is written as such. The story is told by different people the main 2 being Eskimo boy Luke & young white motherless Chickie a young girl from a Scandinavian background, they tell a very different yet similar story both coming from different backgrounds yet still taken away from all they know to be educated in the Catholic Boarding School.

However there is much more than just education going on at this school there are also some military experiments to test how Eskimo’s live in such cold but these tests are done with radiation and iodine- 131 and I’m sure their parents were never informed. There is also Luke’s little brother Isaac who is whisked away and adopted without consent and this is the 60’s not the 30’s. There are many tragedies along the way. There are other characters Junior, Amiq, Donna & Sonny they are white, Eskimo and Native American (it’s never really said what tribe) and how each of them is trying to find their way in the world without losing who they are.

I think this is a very important book that should be read in high school to get a feel of what Americans have done to each other as they try to Americanize the natives. It is important so that this kind of thing never happens again.

I could feel the anger of these kids, they were all treated as orphans when they weren’t they all had families even if they weren’t the greatest parents they were still alive. This story really touched me and I am very glad I read it.

I see why this book has won awards I think it is a book everyone should read especially if you are like me and this was a part of history you knew nothing about.

4 ½ Stars

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Enjoyable,but could have been so much more!

Feels like a nice first effort by a young author. The base story has amazing potential, but it's much too short. The characters are so poorly developed, I felt only mildly engaged, even when really bad things happened to the children. The families are a passing mention and the events of importance are almost bland. A rewrite about three times the length and development would be amazing. As is, an easy listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-09-16

Interesting, enlightening, and worthwhile story!

This beautiful and fascinating story, set in Alaska, is about Eskimo children attending a Catholic boarding school with Indians and Caucasians. I highly recommend My Name is Not Easy..

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but not riveting...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I learned quite a bit listening to this book. I was ignorant of the remote schooling of Alaska native children. I was unaware that the military conducted a study of the role of the thyroid gland in acclimatizating humans to cold, using iodine 131. <br/><br/>The characters in the book were interesting and I liked them. However, I did not connect emotionally to the characters. The story construction jumped around and did not grip me. <br/><br/>So I liked the book but I did not love it, hence the 3 out of 5 star rating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Just so so

The male reading was very good but the female reader's voice is so annoying! The book had a good idea but never got to the meat of anything. Just glossed over every human emotion or experience. It could have been so much more substantial but missed the mark.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great until the end

I was really interested in this book and actually thought most of it was good. But it ended very abruptly and I was left thinking what the heck just happened? And not the good version. I was disappointed with how the author wrapped up the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must listen!

A beautiful and passionately told story of Eskimo children in a Catholic boarding school, the well meaning but ignorant nuns and priests. I was very touched.

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Glad I read this

The kids are is a stiltifying atmosphere and grow to be creative and supportive. I learned a lot.