SMILER'S BONES -- a striking novel based on the harrowing true story of Minik, an Eskimo boy seized in the name of exploration and brought to New York at the beginning of the 20th century
Smiler's Bones by Peter Lerangis (2005, Scholastic Press; 160 pages)
In 1897, famed explorer Robert Peary took six Eskimos from their homes to be "introduced" to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Among the six were a father and son, Qisuk ("Smiler") and Minik. They became living, breathing museum exhibits. Soon, four of the original Eskimos were dead - including Smiler, whose burial was not at all what it appeared to be. One of the survivors returned to Greenland, leaving young Minik to be the only living Polar Eskimo in New York for twelve long years.
Smiler's Bones is Minik's story, a tale of lies and deceptions and a reflection on the price of exploration. Minik's story brings us many questions about science, racism and ethics. The author's choice of a first-person point of view works very well, and Minik's character becomes unforgettable. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes stories based on reality, and to those who enjoy stories about discovering the truth, even if it is painful.
Find this title in our catalog: Smiler's Bones
Recommended by: Maite
Teen Reads Blog
To go to our Teen Reads blog, Bookshelf Envy, click here