Warriors by Joseph Bruchac
Jake has left the reservation for Weltimore Academy and entered a different world. Everyone there loves lacrosse, but no one understands it the way Jake does, as an Iroquois. And no one understands Jake either. To the Iroquois, the game of lacrosse was more than recreation, more than competition. It was sacred. Young men and old played for Elder Brother, He Who Loves to Watch the People Play. Jake always remembered this. One of the best players on the reservation, he felt at home with his people and with himself. Then his mother took a job in Washington, D.C., and Jake entered a very different world. Weltimore Academy became his new home, living there as a boarding student while his mom traveled. Others at the school loved lacrosse, too, but not like Jake. Coach Scott trained them hard, offering violent stories about Indians that Jake knew were untrue. How could he make them understand the real game? Until they did, they would never understand him — or understand the heart of a warrior. As a member of the lacrosse team and of the Iroquois heritage, Jake knows how sacred the game is, but when he moves to a boarding school and plays for their team, he finds that Coach Scott is feeding untruths to his team about the game.
This book is another of the 20 on this year’s New Mexico Battle of the Books Middle School list. Copies are currently available in the Children’s Department and in the Young Adult Department.