Canton Public Library’s Monday Night Book Club will discuss Forrest Carter’s The Education of Little Tree as its February selection. The discussion begins at 7:00 PM on February 11. The Education of Little Tree was originally purported to be an autobiography and was later revealed to be written by someone who was well known by another first name, Asa, or Ace Carter, while working as a speechwriter for George Wallace. Though the book received no end of criticism from those who felt culturally offended after this discovery, it has continued to sell as a work of fiction.
The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression.
“Little Tree” as his grandparents call him, is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way, taking only what is needed, leaving the rest for nature to run its course.
Little Tree also learns the often callous ways of white businessmen and tax collectors, and how Granpa, in hilarious vignettes, scares them away from his illegal attempts to enter the cash economy. Granma teaches Little Tree the joys of reading and education. But when Little Tree is taken away by whites for schooling, we learn of the cruelty meted out to Indian children in an attempt to assimilate them and of Little Tree’s perception of the Anglo world and how it differs from the Cherokee Way.
Copies of The Education of Little Tree are available at the library. New members are always welcome to join the discussion. Canton Public Library is located at 40 Dyer Avenue, Canton. For information: (860) 693-5800 or visit our website at www.cantonpubliclibrary.org
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