Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth

Give Me Some Truth

Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. A rock band -- and winning the local Battle of the Bands, with its first prize of a trip to New York City -- is his best shot. But things keep getting in the way. Small matters like the lack of an actual band, or the fact that his brother just got shot confronting the racist owner of a local restaurant. Maggi Bokoni has just moved...

Details Give Me Some Truth

TitleGive Me Some Truth
Release DateMay 29th, 2018
PublisherArthur A. Levine Books
GenreYoung Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, Music, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

Reviews Give Me Some Truth

  • Meike
    This YA coming-of-age novel discusses what it's like growing up as a Native teenager, immersed both in the world of the rez and settler society - what makes this book special is that Gansworth, who works as a visual artist as well, also merges storytelling with music without needing a single note to do so. Set in 1980 and named after a song by John Lennon (, the book tells the story of high school senior C...
  • Renata
    This book was a little slow to grab me, but I definitely became very invested in these characters. There's such a mix of stakes at play here--will these teens win their battle of the bands? Will Maggi have sex for the first time with a shady older guy? will white people honor native treaties and respect native culture? And yet every level of conflict is ultimately so compelling.This is such a good example of a YA historical fiction being grounded...
  • Elke
    3.5 starsThis is a story told in dual POV: the 15-year-old Maggi and the 17-year-old Carson, both native American teens, Tuscarora Nation (#ownvoices), living on a reservation near Niagra Falls and the border with Canada in 1980.My audiobook subscription ends the third, and I really wanted to be able to finish this still. I'm glad I did! I am, however, sad that due to me listening to it I didn't get to see the visual art. Something that made me e...
  • Abby Johnson
    It's 1980 and Carson wants to win Battle of the Bands to get a free trip to NYC. But first he needs a band. That's the basic premise of this book, but it's so, so much more than that. Carson is a Tuscarora Indian living on a reservation and at the very beginning of the book his brother is shot and injured when he robs a local restaurant - a restaurant named after and honoring George Custer, famous Indian killer. This starts in motion a social jus...
  • Mo
    Wow, so this was great. I started to draft a long, largely incoherent love letter to this book, and then I remembered Debbie Reese had this to say about Eric Gansworth's first young-adult novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here: https://americanindiansinchildrenslit... , which is both more authoritative and better written than my ramblings. (This isn't a series, but there is some overlap in the two books.) Anyway, I thought this book was even better tha...
  • Madeline O'Rourke
    Give Me Some Truth is one of those books where I could easily bump this to three stars, but then I remember how much I disliked reading it. 2 stars it is.First and foremost, Give Me Some Truth definitely does some things right. It's an own voices story set on and around a Native American reservation and really engages with the culture and lifestyle of the place and its people. The novel has a very interesting structure, built around The Beatles, ...
  • DaNae
    The two best things about GIVE ME SOME TRUTH are the setting and the music. I very much liked Gansworth's first book that grew from this 1970's Indian reservation, IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE. This one truly puts the reader there, showing both the grimness and the beauty of the community. Also most of the kids in TRUTH are exactly my age, their senior year was my senior year. And even growing up in a very different community half a county away, I r...
  • Amy Jacobs
    Unfortunately I was unable to enjoy this book as much as others.I had to force myself to finish reading it, and I feel bad for even admitting that.Its not that the writing was bad - or even the plot- its just that I couldn't seem to connect with the characters enough to even want to keep reading chapter after chapter.Maybe I will try again at a later date.
  • P. Kirby
    What I didn't say too, and what my damned inner voice wouldn't let me unhear now, was that a thirty-year-old guy shouldn't find a fifteen-year-old that interesting, no matter how mature she was. Heh. That also applies to immortal guys who supposedly fall in love with a teenage girl.Give Me Some Truth is a novel that is both weakened and strengthened by its verisimilitude. The novel's young protagonists, Carson and Maggi, are driven, respectivel...
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    This was a sometimes wonderful, sometimes sad, and sometimes uncomfortable look at the lives of teens on a Native American reservation. I really appreciated Carson's awakening during this story, and his growing interest in activism. He considered himself a ChameleIndian, a Native American, who could pass as white. He knew he didn't suffer as much as some other Native Americans. Then his brother opened his eyes to some of the inequities and injust...
  • Stephanie
    DNF about halfway, but not because it was bad! It just wasn't interesting? "Slice of life" bildungsromans are just really not my thing, and while the characters were interesting, it was not really exciting. I picked this up after hearing Gansworth speak on a panel about toxic masculinity, and I really wanted to love it. This belongs in the "great book but just not my genre" pile.
  • Lizzie
    There were times when I felt invested in this novel, and the dramatic moments really shine. But I also spent way too much time being frustrated with the characters. The stakes were so varied and there were so many plotlines, all of which, again, resolved themselves in dramatic and emotional ways, but overall it just kind of felt meh.
  • Lauren
  • Jennifer Mangler
    I had a harder time getting into this one, but ultimately enjoyed it. I liked and cared about both characters. I preferred Maggi's POV chapters to Carson's in the beginning, and then flip-flopped about halfway through and much preferred Carson's. Maggi's relationship with Jim really creeped me out and was something I just couldn't get past. The thing I loved most about this book is the powerful sense of setting. Gansworth really brings Maggi and ...
  • Rich in Color
    Review copy via libraryIn this time where we seem to be inundated with half-truths and outright lies, Give Me Some Truth speaks truth. There are hard truths shared within this compelling story of teens taking a long look at themselves and their community.If I Ever Get Out of Here, the first novel in this set, followed a young man named Lewis who is also in this book. It would definitely make this story easier to understand if one has read the fir...
  • Barbara
    This is a 4.5 for me for many reasons. When I received this ARC of Eric Gansworth's latest offering, I knew that it would land on the top of my to-read pile, but I also knew that I would want to savor it just as I savored his earlier If I Ever Get Out of Here. I had to wait until the winter break from work to find time for the book, which covers some of the same territory as the previous one, set in and near the reservation and the town of Niagar...
  • Sharon
    Carson Mastick is determined to win his high school's Battle of the Bands, because the prize includes a trip to New York City ... and getting off of the Tuscarora reservation is part of his major plan. The problem is, he doesn't have a band.Maggi Bokani's mother has brought her and her siblings back to the reservation, and she's miserable. But she has a new job ... and a crush on one of the guys she works with.The book is told in first person, al...
  • Emma
    Give Me Some Truth (300 pages +) was an interesting sequel, but you can totally just read this one without the first if it interests you more, to If I Ever Get Out Of Here. Gansworth writes it in not only 17-year-old Carson Mastick's perspective, but alternates the POV with 15-year-old Maggi Bokoni. Taking place 4 years after If I Ever Get Out Of Here, Carson and Lewis are still 'friends', and Carson wants more than anything to start his own band...
  • Jo
    3.5ish stars -- this ended up being a lot less about the "teens start a band" conceit than I thought it would be, which isn't necessarily a bad thing! It's very slice-of-life, focusing on six months in the year 1980. The world feels fully fleshed out and lived-in, with Gansworth not pulling any punches when it comes to the realities of life both on and off this specific reservation. I do feel like the pacing of the character arcs was a bit off, a...
  • Dorkthropology
    A book about music and social justice set in the 80's on a reservation.The decision to set it in the 80's and have the Beatles play a major thematic role I assume means a lot to the author, but felt weirdly niche to me. As somebody who kinda remembers the 80's and gives very few fucks about the Beatles, I had to gloss over a lot. The many, many song callouts meant nothing to me.That aside, I did enjoy the book as a realistic portrait of the messy...
  • Ashley
    2019 Read Harder Challenge: 12/24 (halfway!) Task #9: A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads. This task REALLY stressed me out. (Because I have no chill and am taking this challenge too seriously.) I am not and have never been an early adopter. Of anything. I literally cannot make a decision without reading twenty thousand reviews first. So in the end, I searched *every book* on the NPR Best of 2018 li...
  • Angie
    I was generally lost a lot when reading this book, and I don't know if I was lost because it took me so long to finish, or it took me a long time to finish because I was so often lost. Who is saying what? What was with that sentence structure? What are they trying to say here? Huh? Who are they referring to? Who's that character again??(view spoiler)[Then at the very end, did anyone else feel like Carson came out of nowhere being all like, "What?...
  • Lonna Pierce
    Eric Gansworth, Onondaga Indian author and illustrator of "If I Ever Get Out of Here" continues Lewis and his friends' story as teens growing up on the Tuscarora Reservation near Lockport, NY and Niagara Falls. Using the same construct of song titles for chapter headings, the theme of this novel is John Lennon & Yoko Ono's music and art, and would appeal to Beatles fans who are familiar with the provided discography. With vulgar language and expl...
  • Rachel Goldstein
    Guys, this book is so good. I love how the character relationships develop, and I love how Carson and Maggi--our two narrators--shouldn't necessarily get what they want, and have to grapple with the reasons for that. I love that some of Maggi's choices being questionable doesn't negate the importance of them being on her own terms, and I love that Carson growing in terms of his community and activism doesn't negate him being an entitled jerk (and...
  • Sara
    This felt really real to me.Aside from I liked this because it was good, three extra things: 1) I was surprised to find a contemporary YA novel that's set in 1980. Normally, I would think that's not recent enough to feel current, but also not long enough ago to appeal as historical fiction. For the most part, though--aside from the absence of technology, which doesn't really stick out much--it reads like something that could easily be happening t...
  • Penny Olson
    Give Me Some Truth is set on a First Nations reservation near Buffalo, NY in 1980. I had a slow start to this book, but once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. Carson and Maggi are adolescents coming of age and trying to figure out who they are, which is hard enough for any teenager, but they are also dealing with poverty and racism. I liked how the characters and their relationships were complex and not caricatured. They make errors in judgment...
  • Devyn Carmen
    Carson, Magpie, and their third wheel Lewis start out on their adventure to form a rock band. The trick is, they're a group of really poor Tuscaroran Natives that are also dealing with troubles at the hearth. With a sharp wit and a story to tell, Eric Gansworth fashions a unique tale of romance and rock in his book, "Give me Some Truth". I would have rated this book higher, but the writing style and the narrators were both kind of a pain to read ...
  • Jessie
    It took me a while to get into this; I went through the first quarter of the book really slowly. But the second half especially picked up a lot.Carson is a really interesting and complicated character to me. He grows a lot here, and there's also some obvious room for more growth. It feels like he's just starting to realize some of that at the end. I liked Maggie's voice and sections of the book better, but her arc felt a little more straightforwa...
  • Leah Moore
    I loved this book! Great characters!Historical fiction set in 1980, very strong feeling of that time in the story, mostly through music. I seem to be drawn to YA that have music plots - there are a lot of them, and this is one of the best!I liked learning about life on their reservation, about highschool and the family business of art vending. Historical context of the treaties and issues with US and Canadian governments was well explained.The ro...
  • Melissa Badamo
    3.5 starsGive Me Some Truth follows Carson, Lewis, and Maggi as they navigate life on a reservation and form a band together while inevitably finding some truth about each other and themselves. The characters are very well-built, and the story is very enjoyable. It's a great dive into Rez culture, mixed with music and friendship.But if I had a dollar for every time I came across a Beatles reference, or just the word "Beatles" in itself, I'd have ...