“Two Roads” by Joseph Bruchac is one of the best books I have ever read. It is similar to the novel “Code Talkers” also by Bruchac. They are both about Native Americans.
“Two Roads” is about Cal Blackbird, a teenager who became a hobo with his father after his mother died. This was in the years just after World War I. Cal has spent the last few months riding the rails with his father, hopping on to moving trains so that they don’t have to pay.
Cal notices his father acting strangely, and things start heating up. What Calvin doesn’t know is that a veteran group is preparing to march on Washington, to ask for their bonus money to help get their lives started after the war. His father, a vet himself, is planning on going. But he knows that it will be no place for Calvin, so Calvin goes to school.
He is sent to Challagi Indian boarding school, which shocks Cal, because until then, he thought that he was just a darker skinned white man. But then his pop tells him that he is half Creek Indian. Challagi is a bleary place that has a history of frustration.
Only one or two of the teachers actually care about the kids, and only half the day is spent on academics, while the other half is spent on teaching industrial skills like farming techniques. more than 8000 students of all ages reside on the huge campus.
The odd thing is though, speaking their Indian languages is forbidden, but when a kid who does not know the language goes to Challagi, they walk out speaking as if it were their native language because of the rebellious feeling kids get when they break that rule.
This is a great book that I recommend for ages 12 and up. This is because kids younger than twelve might not understand the plot or otherwise not enjoy the book’s significance. If you do meet the age recommendation, you should definitely buy and read this book and “Code Talkers” a book about Native Americans in World War II.