Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Education of Little Tree

The Education of Little Tree The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter

Book 90 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 22 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 3 of 3 for the Southern Reading Challenge
Book 5 of 5 for the Book Awards III Challenge
Award: American Booksellers Association Book of the Year (ABBY) award

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book has been marketed as the "true story" of a young Cherokee boy in the 1930s, raised by his grandparents in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. The book is, in fact, completely fictional. There is quite the controversy over this book since Oprah had it on her list for years and then took it off when she realized it was fiction.

I might have been able to get over the fiction/nonfiction issue. I read Mutant Message from Down Under a few years ago, and there is a similar issue with that book. I don't mind so much as long as the book makes me think, true or not. But the first half of the book put me to sleep. I did enjoy the second half as there is more plot. Still, I found the characters to be painfully one-dimensional.

The relationship Little Tree had with his grandparents was sweet. The naturalist side of me also enjoyed some of the observations about the earth and our role in the circle of life. But there was a certain degree of crassness that set me on edge, especially if these are supposed to be the observations of a six-year old.

Click here if you want to know more about the man (he founded a paramilitary KKK splinter group in the 1950s) or the book (talk about reinventing yourself!).

Have you read this? What was your take?

Source: BookMooch


bermudaonion said...

I read this book right after the big controversy, so I didn't particularly enjoy it either.

nanamoo said...

I saw the movie a few years ago and liked the movie...maybe it was different than the book.

Andi said...

I loved the book when I read it. But, I read it without any background and just took it at face value (innocently). I think I'll keep it that way (leaving the room with fingers in my ears). Wish it had been the same for you.