Friday, December 20, 2013

Book (Movie/Material) Review - Smoke Signals

** I just completed a Young Adult literature course and have read and reviewed several materials using a new format. This review follows a template given to me by my professor.**

Name: Christopher M. Jimenez
Media Format: Video
TitleSmoke Signals
Genre: Ethnic/Multicultural, Realistic Fiction, Humor
Author: Sherman Alexie
Selection Source: N/A (Textbook, pg. 208)
Publisher: Miramax
Recommended Audience Age: 13 - Adult
Reading Recommendation: 4
Curriculum Connections: History, Civics, Culture, Health


In the vein of other Sherman Alexie works, this movie deals with Native American culture and identity. Young Victor’s family is torn apart by alcohol abuse. He is forced to face his past when he learns of his father’s death and is summoned to collect his father’s ashes. Thomas, a childhood friend offers to pay for the trip under the condition that he be allowed to come along. Thomas helps Victor through the mourning process and helps him connect with his Native American roots.


This is an excellent companion to the Sherman Alexie novels. It illustrates some of the key points that the novels revolve around, like alcoholism, life on the rez, and the significance of long hair. This particular movie also discusses divorce and forgiveness of missing fathers, a potentially psychologically loaded issue for YAs.


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