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The Warriors (Exceptional Reading & Language Arts Titles for Intermediate Grades)

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When twelve-year-old Jake Forrest's mother gets a job in a new city, everything changes. He has to move away from the Iroquois reservation he's lived on his entire life--away from his aunt and uncle, and away from the friends he plays lacrosse with. The lacrosse coach and players at his new school in Washington, D.C., believe that winning is everything, and they don't know When twelve-year-old Jake Forrest's mother gets a job in a new city, everything changes. He has to move away from the Iroquois reservation he's lived on his entire life--away from his aunt and uncle, and away from the friends he plays lacrosse with. The lacrosse coach and players at his new school in Washington, D.C., believe that winning is everything, and they don't know anything about the ways of his people. As Jake struggles to find a place where he truly belongs, tragedy strikes and he must find out who he really is. Can he find courage to face the warrior within--the warrior who values peace and leads other to more noble pursuits than outscoring the opposition?


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When twelve-year-old Jake Forrest's mother gets a job in a new city, everything changes. He has to move away from the Iroquois reservation he's lived on his entire life--away from his aunt and uncle, and away from the friends he plays lacrosse with. The lacrosse coach and players at his new school in Washington, D.C., believe that winning is everything, and they don't know When twelve-year-old Jake Forrest's mother gets a job in a new city, everything changes. He has to move away from the Iroquois reservation he's lived on his entire life--away from his aunt and uncle, and away from the friends he plays lacrosse with. The lacrosse coach and players at his new school in Washington, D.C., believe that winning is everything, and they don't know anything about the ways of his people. As Jake struggles to find a place where he truly belongs, tragedy strikes and he must find out who he really is. Can he find courage to face the warrior within--the warrior who values peace and leads other to more noble pursuits than outscoring the opposition?

30 review for The Warriors (Exceptional Reading & Language Arts Titles for Intermediate Grades)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    When Jake Forrest leaves his Iroquois reservation to live with his lawyer mother in Maryland, he finds himself enrolled at an exclusive Washington D.C.-area prep school where lacrosse is the obsession. Considered sacred by his people, Jake is dismayed at some of his teacher's misrepresentations of the game's history, and of his people's culture in general. When that teacher, who is also the coach, is injured, Jake sees his opportunity to teach his teammates, and his entire school, what the game When Jake Forrest leaves his Iroquois reservation to live with his lawyer mother in Maryland, he finds himself enrolled at an exclusive Washington D.C.-area prep school where lacrosse is the obsession. Considered sacred by his people, Jake is dismayed at some of his teacher's misrepresentations of the game's history, and of his people's culture in general. When that teacher, who is also the coach, is injured, Jake sees his opportunity to teach his teammates, and his entire school, what the game is really all about... Warriors is yet another Joseph Bruchac title that succeeds on a number of different levels. An engaging sports novel for middle-grade readers, featuring a likable protagonist whose basic storyline - kid moves to new town, has to make friends and try to fit in at new school - should appeal to a broad readership, it also offers en enlightening glimpse of a people and culture with which many young Americans may be unfamiliar. Although I generally don't read a great deal of sports fiction (for children or adults), I found that I enjoyed this brief novel, and was moved by Bruchac's portrayal of the spiritual aspects of lacrosse.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cole

    The Warriors, by Joseph Bruchac, is about a Iroquois boy named Jack Forrest who is a lacrosse player. He lives on the "rez" and knows all the customs and traditions and the ways of life of the Iroquois. Life is pretty for Jack until his mom gets a new job. She is an attorney and they leave the reservation to go to a big city where Jack starts school at an all boy's prep school. Jack gets into the prep school because he is so good at lacrosse at the team and the coach are all about winning the ga The Warriors, by Joseph Bruchac, is about a Iroquois boy named Jack Forrest who is a lacrosse player. He lives on the "rez" and knows all the customs and traditions and the ways of life of the Iroquois. Life is pretty for Jack until his mom gets a new job. She is an attorney and they leave the reservation to go to a big city where Jack starts school at an all boy's prep school. Jack gets into the prep school because he is so good at lacrosse at the team and the coach are all about winning the game. Things don't go so well for Jack because he feels very lonely since no-one at this school is Iroquois and they don't share his values. Jack's idea of being a warrior is about keeping love and peace in your heart which is very different from the lacrosse team. Does Jack ever fit in and change his way of life? or does he change the others? I rated the book 4 stars because I really liked that it was about a boy around my age who played sports. I ran cross country in Middle School and I know what it's like to try to fit in with a team. Sometimes it's hard to do what you think is right if the whole team doesn't.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    Things I loved about this book: the shortness of the book does not detract from the power of the message -- the intense alienation that Jake feels in his new boarding school, despite the welcoming message from the majority of the students -- how weird it feels to be valued for what he views as an indigenous skill in a sacred game (Lacrosse) when the meaning of the game is warped by an outside culture. Jake's thoughtful response to violence, and his willingness to explain the deeper meaning of th Things I loved about this book: the shortness of the book does not detract from the power of the message -- the intense alienation that Jake feels in his new boarding school, despite the welcoming message from the majority of the students -- how weird it feels to be valued for what he views as an indigenous skill in a sacred game (Lacrosse) when the meaning of the game is warped by an outside culture. Jake's thoughtful response to violence, and his willingness to explain the deeper meaning of the game to the school when he offers it as a healing ceremony. The harsh realities that many kids from impoverished communities face -- their family lives broken up by the need for their talented parents to bring back honor and resources to the community. Many of Bruchac's contemporary characters are impacted by that scenario, and he never glosses over how high that cost is.

  4. 5 out of 5

    April

    I definitely do not recommend this one. I got it as part of the indigenous lit expansion in my classroom library. Thinking it would also double as an awesome sports book, I thought I'd hit the jackpot. Up until the end, I still thought that. The main character deals with so much racism and innumerable micro-aggressions as the only indigenous boy at a prestigious boarding school. I appreciated the fact that these things were being called out (inside the mind of our main character) and thought the I definitely do not recommend this one. I got it as part of the indigenous lit expansion in my classroom library. Thinking it would also double as an awesome sports book, I thought I'd hit the jackpot. Up until the end, I still thought that. The main character deals with so much racism and innumerable micro-aggressions as the only indigenous boy at a prestigious boarding school. I appreciated the fact that these things were being called out (inside the mind of our main character) and thought there would be some resolution to this. Not so. The lacrosse coach that is a huge perpetrator of racist language in the book ends up being help up as a hero after a tragic accident and it seems everything else is forgotten... Terrible message.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    In this realistic and action-packed sports novel, Jake is a Native American teenager who moves off the reservation and plays Lacrosse at an eastern boarding school. This universally appealing story about making adjustments to a new place also reminds us that the games we play may have deep cultural roots. (Ages 10 and up).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Megan Billick

    I thought it was a good book. Taught about having to overcome your fears of not belonging in a new place and how to face adversity and become a better person for it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alice V.

    The Warriors offered a tangible, attractive plot, but seemed lacking in development of characters, setting, and plot. Too many unanswered questions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pop

    This book was very good

  9. 4 out of 5

    Trish DiChiara

    Rated by my 8yr old daughter. I read to her. :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Conor R

    In the novel, " The Warriors" by Joseph Bruchac a twelve year old Iroquois boy named Jake Forrest must leave the things he loves, his native home on the reservation and lacrosse when his Mom accepts a job as a lawyer outside of the reservation. Jake does not want to leave and hates the idea, but he knows he is being selfish and understands why he must move. At first, Jake does not like his new school, Weltimore; but he soon begins to make new friends and adjust to the school. The biggest problem In the novel, " The Warriors" by Joseph Bruchac a twelve year old Iroquois boy named Jake Forrest must leave the things he loves, his native home on the reservation and lacrosse when his Mom accepts a job as a lawyer outside of the reservation. Jake does not want to leave and hates the idea, but he knows he is being selfish and understands why he must move. At first, Jake does not like his new school, Weltimore; but he soon begins to make new friends and adjust to the school. The biggest problem for Jake at Weltimore is the fact that no one understands why Native Americans play lacrosse, especially his new history teacher and lacrosse coach, Coach Scott. Coach Scott would say that Native Americans played lacrosse to prepare for war; this was not correct, Native Americans played lacrosse in the belief that the Creator would answer their prayers. Jake did not like Coach Scott; however, when he heard that Coach had been shot trying to protect an innocent mother and child, Jake organized a lacrosse game to be played with the belief that the Creator would answer their prayers for Coach Scott to recover. I believe the message of this book is how we view other people, feel about a place and even the way we see ourselves can change suddenly. My favorite character is Jake. I think I identify so strongly with this character because he stands up for his beliefs. For example, when he wants to do something for Coach Scott after he had been shot, Jake comes up with the idea of a lacrosse game. Even though he thinks everyone will make fun of him, Jake still tells his friends about his idea for a game. “I’ve got an idea” Jake said, “Listen” and then the words came pouring out of him.” (Page 116). Jake stood up for what he believed, and the result was a lacrosse game played for the recovery of Coach Scott. Another example of Jake doing what he believes in is when his Mom calls after the shooting asking if he wants to go home to the reservation; but he responds saying, “Mom, you don’t have to worry about me, I’m OK here for now”. (Page114). Jake knew he had to do something for Coach Scott, and that is why he didn’t return to the reservation. I think the author knew this would help readers identify with Jake; and if you can connect with a character, there is a better chance the reader will like the book. Overall, I thought the book was pretty good. I could relate to the book since I used to play lacrosse. I would recommend this book to someone who likes lacrosse, someone who wants to learn more about Native American culture, or someone who wants to read a good novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leane

    "The Warriors" is the story of Jake, a young Iroquois man who lives on a reservation with his mother. Jake considers his favorite sport, lacrosse, to be a sacred game to his people. He is a great player who is able to use that skill to fit in to his new school in Washington, D.C. when his mother moves the family there. Jake discovers immediately that his new classmates, while appreciative of lacrosse, do not value the sport in the same way that he does. Jake's new coach, Coach Scott, tells stori "The Warriors" is the story of Jake, a young Iroquois man who lives on a reservation with his mother. Jake considers his favorite sport, lacrosse, to be a sacred game to his people. He is a great player who is able to use that skill to fit in to his new school in Washington, D.C. when his mother moves the family there. Jake discovers immediately that his new classmates, while appreciative of lacrosse, do not value the sport in the same way that he does. Jake's new coach, Coach Scott, tells stories about the destructive nature of Indians and how they used lacrosse as a method of training their young men for war. It takes a destructive event at the end of the story for Jake to be able to share his true passion for the sport with his teammates and coach, bringing his two worlds together for the first time. This book would be great for intermediate grade level students. You could even use it for a literature circle option for students. While I would say that this book appeals to boy readers more, I think girls can also appreciate it. I am not a huge fan of books that have play-by-play action from a sporting event, and this book really doesn't have parts like that, so I enjoyed it. I think what I most liked about the story was how author Joseph Bruchac used Jake's story to demonstrate how sometimes non-Native Americans can use certain terms or make assumptions about Native Americans without meaning to hurt feelings. For example, Jake's lacrosse teammates called him "Chief." Jake knew that they didn't mean to hurt him or be disrespectful; they were doing it unintentionally. It was interesting to me that Jake's teammates didn't seem very interested until the end of the story about Jake's former life on the reservation and how being Iroquois has impacted not only his life, but the way he plays lacrosse. I also found it interesting that Jake refers to himself and his people as Indian, not Native Americans. Is this a term that Native Americans do use for themselves in real-life? Overall, I thought the book was just okay. I didn't get to know Jake very well, as well as his mother. The character of Coach Scott and the interactions between him and Jake were minimal and should have been expanded throughout the story. I really didn't get the character of Jake's mom, nor did I understand their relationship. It was kinda awkward, and I don't feel like it ever grew or evolved. Mom kept changing her mind and not sticking with her original plans for Jake, which is a characteristic I didn't really like.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elijah Strong

    I truly enjoyed The Warriors as my first Good Reads selection! The author Joseph Bruchac managed to grab my attention in the first few chapters I started reading. Lacrosse was played by the Iroquois in its most primitive form when young Native Americans were training for war. It showed the history of the Native American game lacrosse in a positive way, and how Native Americans were treated. The book was a must read at first sight when I spotted it, because it told about how the game was origina I truly enjoyed The Warriors as my first Good Reads selection! The author Joseph Bruchac managed to grab my attention in the first few chapters I started reading. Lacrosse was played by the Iroquois in its most primitive form when young Native Americans were training for war. It showed the history of the Native American game lacrosse in a positive way, and how Native Americans were treated. The book was a must read at first sight when I spotted it, because it told about how the game was originally played. The main character Jake was once a very good lacrosse player that lived in a Native American Reserve. His parents had a shaky relationship forcing them to split apart, and Jake was now living with his Uncle and Aunt. Jake centers life in lacrosse, which made him a very experienced player on the field. Due to his family life, Jake is forced to go into a boarding school in Maryland named Weltimore which has a long history of lacrosse. The Warriors was a great book, but throughout some chapters the scene was rushed such as when Jake left the school to visit his uncle who had been shot in a hunting accident. Also the book had many references to people getting shot by guns such as the coach who had a bullet to the head in result of protecting a mother and her baby from a robbery. Much of the book took place inside of lacrosse games, and the author did try to rush through parts to quickly get to the part he actually wanted people to read. I enjoyed how the author was able to make it seem like you were right there sitting in the stands during every game. The amount of description in the book was unbelievable, and really made me want to read more every time. Also The Warriors is a great way for people who have only one view of lacrosse as a sport played by modern day Americans to see that this was once a very sacred game to all Native Americans, and that it still is. Overall though The Warriors is a great way to know how the game of lacrosse is really meant to be played.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Warriors Book Review by Ned Cunniffe The book I read this month was called Warriors. This book is about a boy named Jake. Jake is a lacrosse player who plays on an Iroquois team. He is a Native American and an excellent lacrosse player. Jake finds out that he is moving and he will have to go to a new school. Jake is very upset because he is leaving his family, friends, the reservation and lacrosse. Later, Jake gets to his new school and he feels very homesick, but then he is asked by the principal Warriors Book Review by Ned Cunniffe The book I read this month was called Warriors. This book is about a boy named Jake. Jake is a lacrosse player who plays on an Iroquois team. He is a Native American and an excellent lacrosse player. Jake finds out that he is moving and he will have to go to a new school. Jake is very upset because he is leaving his family, friends, the reservation and lacrosse. Later, Jake gets to his new school and he feels very homesick, but then he is asked by the principal how many goals he scores a lacrosse game. During this moment is when Jake finds out this school is a big lacrosse school. Jake plays for his new school and wins almost every game. Jake no longer feels homesick and loves his new school. The main problem in this book is that Jake feels homesick when he moves to his new school. This problem is resolved when Jake is asked to play lacrosse and is the new star of the team. Once Jake learned that his new school had his favorite sport he immediately felt more at home. I liked this book because it is action packed and about a topic I enjoy. I would recommend this book to any person that likes sports and stories about determination. However, I feel that the author could have included some more information about Jake’s father. This would have been an interesting twist to the story. Overall, this book was definitely worth the read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    i thought this book was really good, and was really interesting to watch jake make a promise to his mother that he later finds out that he can't keep. Jake is a native american who learned how to play lacrosse with it actual meaning and learned the spiritualism be hind the game.SPOILER: Jake loves lacrosse and grew up playing and learning the actual fundamentals of lacrosse, Jake finds himself with new people who don't really understand the sport like he does. jake feels home sick, and just want i thought this book was really good, and was really interesting to watch jake make a promise to his mother that he later finds out that he can't keep. Jake is a native american who learned how to play lacrosse with it actual meaning and learned the spiritualism be hind the game.SPOILER: Jake loves lacrosse and grew up playing and learning the actual fundamentals of lacrosse, Jake finds himself with new people who don't really understand the sport like he does. jake feels home sick, and just wants to run home back to the reservation where he lived most of his life. i would recommend this book to people who understand lacrosse and understand lacrosse terminology/vocabulary.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dotty

    I grew up on the rez - Iroquis Indian Reservation to most folks. Lacrosse is my sport - and it should be since the game started with the Iroquis Nation. Lacross is important in the spiritual life of my people. Mom got me to leave the rez and live with her in the city. My new school, Weltimore Academy, is very into lacross and things would be great except everyone here sees lacross as a game of war instead of the spiritual experience it was intended to be. I’ve been accepted here but I feel alone I grew up on the rez - Iroquis Indian Reservation to most folks. Lacrosse is my sport - and it should be since the game started with the Iroquis Nation. Lacross is important in the spiritual life of my people. Mom got me to leave the rez and live with her in the city. My new school, Weltimore Academy, is very into lacross and things would be great except everyone here sees lacross as a game of war instead of the spiritual experience it was intended to be. I’ve been accepted here but I feel alone. Will these people ever know what it means to be Iroquis and the real meaning of lacrosse?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Riley Holzman

    I though this was a great book that described the way of life of a lacrosse player on a reservation. This book shows the challenges of life on an Native American reservation and how this boy overcame those challenges. This shows how lacrosse can really be a way out of the world he lived in. He takes up a switch of going to a private school and it shows how that affected his life, the change of going from the reservation with all Natives and then going to a school of all these rich white boys. Thi I though this was a great book that described the way of life of a lacrosse player on a reservation. This book shows the challenges of life on an Native American reservation and how this boy overcame those challenges. This shows how lacrosse can really be a way out of the world he lived in. He takes up a switch of going to a private school and it shows how that affected his life, the change of going from the reservation with all Natives and then going to a school of all these rich white boys. This naturally is a big change, but Jake deals with it in a kind of funky way which I liked.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Once again, Bruchac brings Native culture to the modern day - making this a far better book for classrooms than, say, Sign of the Beaver of Indian in the Cupboard. The sports theme draws in a lot of reluctant readers, but this is a far meatier story than many other sports books for kids: characters challenge some racist assumptions, learn how to exist in a world that does not always want to embrace all of them.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Arca

    I'm grateful to find thoughtful, clear literature from an American Indian boy's perspective for middle grades! I love that while this book is short, there are plenty of aspects of Jake's experience to analyze and reflect upon. The story felt honest and not trivializing, making clear nods at racist interactions and other frustrations he encounters. The story moved me and truly did remind me to emulate Jake and the strong and caring family members who nurtured him. Do read! I'm grateful to find thoughtful, clear literature from an American Indian boy's perspective for middle grades! I love that while this book is short, there are plenty of aspects of Jake's experience to analyze and reflect upon. The story felt honest and not trivializing, making clear nods at racist interactions and other frustrations he encounters. The story moved me and truly did remind me to emulate Jake and the strong and caring family members who nurtured him. Do read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I am using this book in my 6th grade language arts class because it is amazing. It deftly grapples with so many issues (racism, the religion of sports, violence, other Native American issues) while maintaining an interesting plot. Perhaps it tries to do to much, but such is an easy fault to overlook. You can easily read this book in 2 hours, and you probably should.

  20. 4 out of 5

    MrsMitchell

    A unique story about family, friendship, traditions, and adjusting to a new culture. I think a lot of you will really connect to Jake's struggle to adjust to an American lifestyle after living on the Indian reservation, and you'll learn some new things about lacrosse too! Anyone who is an athlete or has moved to a new city will like this book! A unique story about family, friendship, traditions, and adjusting to a new culture. I think a lot of you will really connect to Jake's struggle to adjust to an American lifestyle after living on the Indian reservation, and you'll learn some new things about lacrosse too! Anyone who is an athlete or has moved to a new city will like this book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Mccarthy

    I have read this book multiple times and every time I read it it just gets better and better. I absolutely love this book and recommend to any one who loves sports, lacrosse and a good story. But, I do wish that this book could have been a series or have more books. This is one of my favorite books and has been on my favorites shelf for years.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hanna

    "As long as you remember and remain thankful, you can find peace in your heart." - Grampa Sky Excellent lesson. The author depicted a typical teen boy with his usual utter response "Unh-hunh". I love when the writing contains truth in the emotions and circumstances. Perfectly written like usual from this author. "As long as you remember and remain thankful, you can find peace in your heart." - Grampa Sky Excellent lesson. The author depicted a typical teen boy with his usual utter response "Unh-hunh". I love when the writing contains truth in the emotions and circumstances. Perfectly written like usual from this author.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Trina

    I read this book aloud with my 12 year old. He liked it okay, and I liked it okay. Neither of us really loved it. Too much emotions and thought, and not enough action or dialogue. It was a good discussion starter though, as it brought to our attention some of the feelings/thoughts Native Americans may have in general regarding how their history and culture is spoken of.

  24. 4 out of 5

    I Contain

    A book that brings to mind the difficulty of cultural difference in general. Namely, a Native American boy who must reconcile his own Iroquois view of lacrosse as a sacred game with a traditional American view of the sport at his new school. Also worthy of discussion is the book's focus on the boy's family situation. An excellent book to share with students. A book that brings to mind the difficulty of cultural difference in general. Namely, a Native American boy who must reconcile his own Iroquois view of lacrosse as a sacred game with a traditional American view of the sport at his new school. Also worthy of discussion is the book's focus on the boy's family situation. An excellent book to share with students.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Jake is an Algonquin Indian, and lacrosse is part of his cultural and spiritual heritage. As he leaves the reservation to live with his mom, will he be able to bring a new perspective of the game to his lacrosse-crazy school?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Norma Jesus

    I'd never read a book about a lacrosse player. The spiritual content led to good discussion with Elias about various religious beliefs. I'd never read a book about a lacrosse player. The spiritual content led to good discussion with Elias about various religious beliefs.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roberson

    i didnt read the book yet but i think its gone be good

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I thought that this was a good book. It had some unexpected surprises. I think that anyone interested in lacrosse should read this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josephine Sorrell

    The thing that stood out to me in this book is that people are vastly different,yet so much the same.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mickey

    Global Reading Challenge book, the last one I read for concord School.

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