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Two roads
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It's 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. Cal likes being a "knight of the road" with Pop, even if they're broke. But then Pop has to go to Washington, DC-some of his fellow veterans are marching for their government checks, and Pop wants to make sure he gets his due--and Cal can't go with him. So Pop tells Cal something he never knew before- Pop is actually a Creek Indian, which means Cal is too. And Pop has decided to send Cal to a government boarding school for Native Americans in Oklahoma called the Challagi School.<br> <br> At school, the other Creek boys quickly take Cal under their wings. Even in the harsh, miserable conditions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, he begins to learn about his people's history and heritage. He learns their language and customs. And most of all, he learns how to find strength in a group of friends who have nothing beyond each other.
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  Booklist Review

Multiple compelling Depression-era histories converge in Bruchac's latest, about a boy attending a government boarding school for Native Americans in 1932. Cal enjoys being a hobo with Pop, riding the rails and doing honest work. But then Pop gives Cal two pieces of life-changing news. The first is that Pop, who Cal always thought was white, is a Creek Indian. Second, Pop is going to D.C. to protest with other WWI veterans for their bonus payments. While Pop is gone, Cal will attend the Challagi Indian Boarding School, where Pop went as a boy. Challagi is a bleak and often brutal place, but, while there, Cal befriends other Native boys from various tribes for the first time. Pop's recollections of the abuses he witnessed at Challagi are so harsh that readers might initially wonder why he sends his son there a question Bruchac also thoughtfully addresses in the afterword. But the students' utter subversion of Challagi's mission to sever their ties with Indian culture soon becomes apparent, as does Cal's powerful, growing understanding of his identity.--Mariko Turk Copyright 2018 Booklist
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