Book Review: Bowman’s Store: A Journey to Myself by Joseph Bruchac

This is the biography of Joseph Bruchac, who is a Native American author of more than 100 books.

I’ve been a fan of Joseph Bruchac’s since I read Skeleton Man for the first time, which was more than three years ago now. Since then, I’ve read a number of his books, but only over the summer, I found out that he had written a biography about his life.

I bought a copy as soon as I could and began reading it. I took my time though, which I normally don’t do when I’m really enjoying a book.

Joseph, who his family called Sonny, lived with his grandparents and was actually raised by them. It’s never totally revealed exactly why his grandparents wanted Joseph to live with them, but after reading the whole book, I’m thinking it is because of Joseph’s father and how he was treated by him.

Each chapter of this book begins with a story, either a traditional Native tale, or one about his life.

The book doesn’t talk much about his books, or even how he got published, what awards he’s won, etc. It is pretty much about his life growing up and goes until he meets and marries his wife and they have their first son.

It’s about what he learned from his grandparents, his family and just the world around him. I found myself relating to Joseph in many ways. He was shy and so was I. He loves animals and so do I. His grandmother could be overprotective and in ways, this stopped him from growing up, though it wasn’t her intentional to stop that. She just wanted him to be safe. But I definitely know how it feels to have overprotective parents.

I have to admit that I cried while reading this book, a number of times. I felt pain when reading about his father and how he treated Joseph, the things he said to Joseph. But this book was also filled with love. Lots of love from his grandparents.

And of course, his biography is about his journey to discovering himself and who he is. It wasn’t until later that he found out he was Abenaki. It was hidden and after he found out, Joseph began to reclaim his heritage.

My family also hid their Cherokee heritage. My family knows nothing besides we are Cherokee and I, too, am on my own journey of discovering myself and reclaiming my heritage. Knowing that Joseph Bruchac did this, gives me hope and really encourages me to continue on my journey. I really hope that one day I have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bruchac.

And what more can I say of this book? It’s wonderful; one of the best biographies I’ve read. If you’re a fan of his, I think you should read it, if you like biographies, you should read it as well. And if you are on a journey of discovering yourself and your heritage, this will be a very encouraging read.

I highly, highly recommend this book.


2 responses to “Book Review: Bowman’s Store: A Journey to Myself by Joseph Bruchac

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