Wyoming Book Reviews

Drifting Yukon:  living in two worlds with Yup’ik Eskimo salmon hunters
By Dan Syljuberget
Rapid City, SD : Black Hills Books, 2016.

Picture this: Mid ’80s, Western Oregon State College, first day of class, non-traditional students Dan (an anglo), and Allen and Clara (Eskimo siblings from a Yup’ik village in Alaska). As class begins Allen and Clara enter and sit near Dan. The ensuing conversation starts the adventure of a lifetime. This linear narrative adventure captures Dan helping his Yup’ik friends, who are struggling with alcohol and lifelong habits, adjust to college culture. The friendship is so strong that the Yup’ik eventually invite Dan to spend the summer fishing in Alaska. As he settles into life at the Yup’ik primitive fishing camp, Dan experiences a similar culture shock. The rustic lifestyle pushes the author to the limit. The satisfying, yet intriguing, conclusion of the book leaves you comparing the lives of the Yup’ik with those of the Native Americans in the lower 48. Great descriptive narrative of Dan’s adventure and college life for the Eskimos makes this book hard to put down!

Richard Landreth, Library Media Specialist
Campbell County School District 1

 

Booger
By Eugene M. Gagliano
Denver : Outskirt Press, 2016.

Booger is an entertaining story of a 12 year old boy and his struggle to earn money to buy a new bicycle since he wrecked his the previous summer. In 1957, he “needs” a bike to get around. He has many adventures while earning money including dog walking, babysitting a boy who thinks he can fly and jumps off a roof, baking cookies (a disaster), and finally doing odd jobs for a widow. He tries to do the right thing, thinking that he doesn’t have to tell the whole truth and his adventures are humorous. He lies to the widow about a broken vase but finally tells her the truth knowing it might mean no bike. But the widow let him know “it takes a person of character to tell the truth” and he continues to work for her and learns his lessons about telling the truth.

Betty Abbott, Education Programs Manager
Wyoming Department of Corrections

 

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