Thunder Boy Jr.

SKU: 9780316013727

Sherman Alexie
Grade Levels:
Two, Three, Four, Five
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Copyright Date:

Sale price$24.99


Thunder Boy Jr. is Sherman Alexie's first picture book for young children. The award-winning Spokane author tells a humourous story about a young Native American boy who wants a different name. Told as a first-person narrative a young Indigenous boy has an issue with his name, Thunder Boy Smith Jr. The problem is the boy's father is known as Thunder Boy Smith Sr. so people on the rez call the father Big Thunder and son becomes known as Little Thunder. The boy thinks this sounds to his ears like a burp or fart. Using broad humour the author captures the boy's thoughts about this nickname. While the boy known as Thunder Boy thinks of replacement names with his mom and sister, dad is already planning for a new name for his son. Combining with the illustrator's bright palette of colours, Sherman Alexie plays with the idea of nicknames, identity, cultural based names, and the relationship between father and son. Indigenous readers will most likely understand the humour behind the idea of 'Indian names' explored in this picture book. Some background details explaining the importance of personal names in First Nations and Inuit communities may have assisted adults and teachers unfamiliar with this tradition. One hopes readers who think it is perfectly appropriate to make up 'Indian Names' in English for their elementary students will see the humour in the author's well-told story. At the end of the story Thunder Boy Sr. finds the right first name for his son making the boy extremely pleased. Highly Recommended.

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