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This is a story about a Cherokee boy growing up in Appalachia during the Great Depression. I thought it was a memoir but have since learned otherwise. Little Tree is brought up by his Indian Granma and Granpa who teach him Indian ways: hand fishing, the whiskey making trade, fox tracking, church going (or not) and dictionary reading. Problem is, the author was not Cherokee after all.
The book was good after I got into it, but, then I found out that it was fiction written by a separatist. I decided it was still a good story, just not nearly as good as when I thought it was true. Surprisingly, I didn't find anything in it offensive or racist. Of course, I am not Indian. Though I have read books by natives, or endorsed by natives, and there wasn't anything that much different in this book, comparatively (re: lifestyle, racism, etc).
This book is a problematic example of a white man playing Indian in order to sell a narrative. The author is actually Asa Carter who was speechwriter to George Wallace of "Segregation Forever!" fame. Regardless of literary merit it is damaging to to natives. For those interested, here is a post by scholar of children's literature, Debbie Reese: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2007/11/where-is-your-copy-of-education-of.html
Fact or Fiction, Nevermind: This is a great book. I am thinking about it weeks after finishing it. You'd never know by the childish cover that it's an intriguing and captivating book. I wish to find more books by this author. There is much folklore and herbal remedies although I would research the ideas more but some survival plants I can attest to being true. I am going to read this book again one day; really a great book.
The reader should be aware that this book is a hoax; not a memoir but fiction. Here is the link to one of many articles that can be found on the internet concerning the author: http://www.nytimes.com/1991/10/04/us/best-seller-is-a-fake-professor-asserts.html