June 25, 2012

Book Review - The Lynching of Louie Sam


This story is about a young boy named, Louie Sam, a Native American who was part of the Sto:lo First Nation. Louie Sam was the only lynching to take place in Canada between 1882 and 1968. This book was inspired by his true story of how he was wrongly accused and murdered of a crime he didn't commit. It opens your eyes to the reality of racism in America. I think in order to know how we got where we are today, we must look to the past. This tells one of the worst things for America to go through so well.

The story is told from the view of 15yr old George Gillies, a young boy living in the Washington Territory. Being the eldest son he leads a typical life until one day when he finds his neighbors house on fire. He finds his neighbor and pulls him out only to find out that he is dead. From then on you meet the rest of the characters in the book, which some are not all good people. At first look you think you've solved the case as the evidence is pretty much laid before you, but is it really that easy? George Gillies doesn't think so and begins to look into the truth behind the murder after seeing Louie Sam. He just doesn't believe that such a young boy could brutally murder a man. Upon looking at the evidence he sees the truth unfold and is practically hopeless to do anything about it. His father is a great support for him, but in the end the truth about the murder goes "unsolved".

Elizabeth Stewart does an excellent job of bringing the story of Louie Sam to the world. I for one had never heard of this and am quite apalled. I think this is something that everyone should read, even children. It gives you a lesson about acceptance, and not assuming someone's guilt before looking at the whole picture.

You can purchase the book on Amazon.com for about $12.95, and really recommend reading it. HERE