The novel, Hidden Roots is by Joseph Bruchac.It is a children's novel, that takes place in 1954. In the novel, a young eleven year old boy named Sonny. The story describes Sonnys life. He is partially Native American growing up in a small town in New York. Sonny's dad works at the local paper mill, which employs most of the towns people. Sonny's dad works long hours and sometimes comes home and abuses his mom. Sonny is bullied at school but is unaware, preoccupied in his own world. Sonny loves to read and spends most of his school days in the library reading. Most of the schools library books, are donated by the paper mill, in fact most of the stuff around town, is provided by the mill.
Not much happens to Sonny until his Uncle Louis comes. Uncle Louis is Native American like Sonny. He teaches Sonny many things. As the story goes on, there are conflicts that take a toll on Sonny and his family. Sonny's dad gets his hand injured in a machine at the paper mill and becomes disabled. Sonny's family goes through financial hardship. When this event happens, Sonny spends more time with his uncle and his uncle helps around the house more often. Sonny notices that Uncle Louis has an odd relationship with his mom. It turns out that Uncle Louis is actually Sonny's grandfather and in the end of the novel, Sonny realises who he is and his family history and he discovers his hidden Roots.
Below I have compiled a list of some memorable Quotes from the novel. I have listed these quotes in chronological order, based on the page they came from.
Quote: “I'd been taught that it was good to not sleep too heavily. Otherwise you might get “crept up on”
Quote: “I would have liked Mom to come to school, but there were times when she couldn't because her face was bruised or she had a black eye. When I was little I thought it was because she was clumsy and ran into things that's what she told me”
Quote: “And now, I too, had more words I couldn't say, more things not to be talked about.”
Quote: “Sometimes,” he said, “the only way to survive is to hide. The deer do it and we can do it,too. Even if we have to do it in plain site.”
Quote:“His face was tanned darker, too, than the faces of most of the people in our town. I'd noticed that in the summer I got almost as dark as Uncle Louis except his color didn't fade in the winter... He patted his chest with his left hand and then placed that hand on Mom's right shoulder.”
Quote “It happened fast, so fast that it took me some years to notice how they always did that”
Quote:“ I deserved to lose that hand,” Daddy said. “ That's the same hand that I always...”
Quote: “We stayed like that for a long time, swaying just as trees do that are rooted deep.”
Quote: ““Jake,” he said. “It don't matter whether she says it or not. We are who we are. It's just as much as it is Martha or Sonny or me.”
Quote: “Not only was the library being expanded, now we were even going to have our own librarian to shelve the books … “I'm going to start reading here and not stop till I get all the way around the room,” I said as I stood in the school library on the second day of school that autumn when more then just the leaves where changing.”
Quote: “I woke up because they were arguing. I must have heard them even before I was fully awake because the fight began in the dream I was having.”
Quote: ““You'll wake Sonny” “I ain't yelling,” my father said, his voice was softer now, too. “I'm just telling you I got no choice. This is a recession, for cripe's sake.”
Quote: “I found myself taking off my shirt, my feet carrying me out onto the playground. “Take it out,” Verney said. “You can do that, can't you?”... I'm not sure why but the game started to mean something to me.”
Quote: ““You're not bad. You just need to practice your jump shot, eh?” “Okay,” I said, not sure how it had gone from being one of the worst days of my life to one of the best.” Page 77
Quote: “Then I heard another siren coming from the direction of the firehouse. I started running. There where only three reasons for a siren to be going off at this time of day. The first was a fire. The second reason, which was awful, was that the Russians were attacking. The third was worse. It meant there was an accident at the mill.”
Quote: “I learned later that he even tried to give Daddy some money out of pocket, but Daddy was too proud to take it, saying that the check due him from the mill would be enough,”
Quote: ““Jake,” she said, “everybody in town notices. They have been noticing for a long time. Don't you remember how they treated your family? They don't just have to look at Louis. Look at us, look at our face in the mirror. We're not hiding anything. You should be glad that Louis is around to lend us a hand. What are you afraid of?””
Quote: ““I'm not your Uncle,” he said. “Your mother is my daughter. Sonny, I be your grandfather.”
Quote: “Come too close to me and I’ll get you.”
Quote: “It wasn’t just the roots of the trees that were hidden now, but the whole of the earth.”
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