Friday, June 23, 2017

Debbie--have you seen BLOWBACK '07 by Brian Meehl?

A reader writes to ask if I've seen Blowback '07 by Brian Meehl. I haven't but will look for it. Here's the description:

Clashing teenage twins Arky and Iris have one thing in common: an ancient musical instrument left to them by their mother. When Iris plays the strangely curved woodwind, the trouble begins; Arky's friend, Matt, the school's star quarterback, disappears.

Transported to 1907 and the Carlisle Indian School, Matt is forced to play football for Coach Pop Warner as the Carlisle ''Redmen'' revolutionize Ivy League football. Matt's struggle to ''play his way home'' is complicated when he falls in love with an Indian girl.

Meanwhile, Arky and Iris discover a cache of secrets that might bring Matt back, and lead to the ultimate rescue: their mother, trapped in the past.

Blowback '07 launches a century-spanning trilogy to be continued in Blowback '63 and Blowback '94. Books two and three propel Arky and Iris to the illuminating past, and transform them in ways they never imagined. After all, as their mother once cautioned, ''Every road to the future winds through the past.''

Published in 2016 by Mill City Press, I'm wary of Meehl's book--not because of the publisher, but because of the content. Any stories that delve into the boarding schools Native children were forced to go to must be done with extraordinary care and research, lest they come out like Ann Rinaldi's disastrous My Heart Is On the Ground.

Why, I wonder, did Meehl select Carlisle as the place his character would go?

When I get a copy, I'll be back with a review.


Beverly Slapin said...

Matt is FORCED to play football for Coach Warner? So Matt could get better food than the rest of the Carlisle students? So Matt could get a comfy bed to sleep on instead of the bunks in the crowded Carlisle dorms? So Matt could make some money instead of having to do hard agricultural labor for free?

Ann Bennett said...

My guess the choice is to educate young people about a factor in American history that is not talked about. I hope we are all pleasantly surprised. Misinformation is worse than no information in my opinion.

As a teacher, I liked children learning about the less talked about parts of history. I love the story of Harriet Tubman. But I deliberately chose less known people for black history month. As a teacher, I would choose a topic like this for children. As a writer, I would do my research.

Barbara Landis said...

I like the book very much and am trying to find my copy to give to my grandson to read. I probably lent it out.

Anyway, it's a time travel book where a football star finds himself blown back to 1907, a white misfit among the accomplished Carlisle Indian School football team. The device is innovative because the author doesn't have to "invent" an Indian School persona - as Rinaldi, Taschek, McColl and others have done. I give this one a thumbs up.

Barb Landis

Beverly Slapin said...

Hi, Barbara! Haven't read the book yet and will if I get a chance. I'm curious, though: How is Matt forced to play football with Coach "Pop" Warner?