The challenges that face a reader of Tomson Highway’s Caribou Song will vary. They’ll depend on the reader and how they approach the text. For example, a reader of the opinion that stories intended for children aren’t as substantial as books meant for adults could have a challenging time critiquing Highway’s book. They might be less inclined to parse a text that features simple sentences and is accompanied by illustrations.
Another type of reader could be challenged by the text due to its subject matter. They might not be familiar with Cree culture. It’s possible they would experience problems trying to relate their own lives to those of Joe, Cody, and their family. The difference between their life and modern life could make analysis an arduous activity.
To overcome such difficulties, whatever they are, a good strategy is to adopt an open mind. Regardless of the genre or subject, one should try to be receptive to the text. Refrain from either outright dismissing the book or placing it on a pedestal.
Another strategy to keep in mind: analysis doesn’t have to meet some definition of genius. When one is asked to analyze something, they shouldn’t think that they automatically have to engage in an extraordinary, profound discussion. Usually, just talking about what interests them about a text, why it interests them, and what it might mean is insightful in itself.
If a reader is drawn to Joe’s accordion playing, for instance, they should analyze that aspect of the book. If a reader likes to dance, they could talk about how Cody likes to dance and the significance of dancing in the text. Analysis, like a lot of areas in literature, tends to be subjective.