Tim Giago weaves memoir, commentary, reflection and poetry together to boldly illustrate his often-horrific experiences as a child at an Indian Mission boarding school run by the Catholic Church. Through his words, the experience of one Indian child becomes a metaphor for the experience of many who were literally ripped from their tribal roots and torn from their families for nine months of the year in order to be molded to better fit into mainstream America. They were not allowed to speak their own languages or follow their traditional customs, and cases of physical, sexual and psychological abuse were common. As a result, the Mission school experience often resulted in isolation, confusion, and intense psychological pain. This has contributed to problems including alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence and general alienation in an entire generation of Native Americans. Dramatic and intensely moving black-and white illustrations by Giagos daughter Denise illuminate the text.