KEVIN CLOUD: Chippewa Boy in the City by Carol Ann Bales

KEVIN CLOUD: Chippewa Boy in the City

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Kevin Cloud's life of urban poverty in Chicago is enlivened by a few reminders of his Chippewa heritage such as attending a powwow with his grandmother and returning to the reservation in Minnesota to help with the wild rice harvest. These episodes are photographed in bright color to contrast with the bleakness of the gray and white ghetto, but Kevin is at home in both worlds (""At first I said I wasn't going [to the reservation] because I'd miss the Friday night movie on TV."") and his narrative, like the photos of his family at home, are pleasantly candid and unaffected. The author's statement that Kevin is not meant to represent a ""typical"" American Indian child probably accounts for the text's fluidity (it doesn't digress to tell us more about the Chippewa than Kevin himself knows), but though Vizenor (see below) might object to the use of the English term Chippewa, meeting Kevin should go a long way towards deexoticizing the American Indian.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1971