Thishere is Leslie VonHolte o'Chase Countee, Kansus, wiff anoth'r HPPR Radeeo Reeders Book Byte. Mos o't' books n' thishere seesen’s Radeeo Reeders lis air about youngns a'crossin cultchurs, an' t'rough waters thay must navigate ta do so. Yung youngn Sekwuyah, t'narrater n' Bran'on Hobsen’s Whar t'Daid Sit A'talkin, is hissef navigatyun' a triple-whammy o'cultchur a'crossin: He’s plact wiff a new fost'r fambly wile his'n mom is n' jail. He’s Cherokee, nawh a'livin wiff white folk. And he’s a youngn, at universal a'crossin eggsperients frum youngn ta adult. Sekwuyah is a good youngn who shirks dumb rules. He gits n' troubull fer leevin his'n group trayler, fer a'walkin ta homeless camps, fer simplee expleryun'. He smokes sum, but mosly he’s respectfil an' appreciatif' o'his'n odd but kine fost'r parnts. His'n behavier is mer us a youngn untethert, rath'r thun openlee defyint. He’s un input, takin n' t'worl an' its strange informayshun, almos overloadyun' wiff t'steries an' characters he encounters. Fer instunts, n' Lil Croe, his'n new town. Thar mite be a strange cult here, Sekwuyah wonders. Why do all o't' wimmen wear thar long hair t'same? And wear long skirts? And whut is goin un wiff these photos o'his'n fost'r-sist'r, Rosemree? But the skool t'nex day is soooo borin an' t'questyunyun' is almos fergotte. As a fost'r youngn, he gits sick o'bein ast all t'ime, hoe do y'all feel? But the wen he’s lef alone, t'loneliness is crushyun'. Ta me, Sekwuyah is a refreshinglee real care ackter. Sumtimes he boils ov'r n' un uglee way. The lat'r he is frustratinglee lakunic. Like neerly ever youngn I have knowed, he is a'lookin fer t'edges o'acceptabull behavier n' a starmy worl. And altho we knoe t'starms air nev'r set off by 'im, well, it certunlee feels at way sumtimes. Rarelee do we find teenagers so sympatheticallee depictid n' novels, these complicatid an' dangeryus an' delicut beings amungst us. T' strange cultural dissonance at Sekwuyah straddles remindt me o't' teenage characters ofte foun n' Miriam Tooos’s earlee novels, speshly A Complicatid Kindness. N' at, youngn Nomi Nickel doesn’t quite unnerstan why hern Mennonite fambly hus falln apart. Hern parnts, an' she an' hern sist'r, air bein pullt by competyun' cultchurs, an' hern negotiashun o'gif'-an'-take is faileeun'. Insteed Nomi is ferct ta walk alone, she feels, wiff contrastyun' indicaters frum hern church, hern lovyun' but absent moth'r, er hern belovt punk rock an' Lou Ret songs. Thay burn a scercht-earth apperach ta life befor hern, paths at go n' complicatid direckshuns. Hoe is a youngn ta knoe which way ta go? Simlar ta t'strange, fev'r-dreemlike momants n' Sekwuyah’s stery, Nomi’s also presants momants at make no sense an' air therefere notid but set aside. I rememb'r these tee yeers myself, suddenlee seein t'adults roun me us nairy bein t'knoe-all an' wise folk I bleevd 'um ta be. Thay wuz flawt, an' ofte weird, an' had pasts at didn’t make sense. N' at way I relatid ta Sekwuyah. Bein a youngn is almos too much ta compute. Thishere is Radeeo Reed'r Leslie VonHolte a'hopin y'all will join us n' reedin Whar t'Daid Sit A'talkin by Bran'on Hobsen. Find mer at HPPR.org, er Like us un Facebook.


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