The book “Winners” is about a fifteen-year-old Indian boy, Jordy Threebears, who has lived almost his whole life with white people, because he is an orphan. Now he is going to live with his grandfather (Joe) in an Indian reservation (Ash Creek Blackfoot Reserve). When Jordy start at the new school he get to know the P.E. teacher (miss MacTavish) rather well.
Jordy’s mother died when he was seven years old, and he doesn’t remember to much about her, but after a while he starts to remember, it is also great help that he get to see a few pictures of her.
One day Jordy is out walking when suddenly a white man in a truck throws a beer bottle in his head. The good mood that Jordy was in disappears after that incident, and it really gets to much for him when someone accidentally hits him in the head with a basketball. After this Jordy runs away into the prairie, there it starts snowing and Jordy gets lost, but then a man on a horse shows up, he is whispering the word “Siksika”, Jordy follows the man and after a while Jordy can see a cottage with light. The cottage turns out to be the MacKenci ranch where Erasmus Wathermedicine lives, he takes care of Jordy.
Jordy needs to go to the hospital after the night in the cold prairie. While Jordy is in the hospital he learns a lot about his parents, from people who visit him. He also talks to Joe about horses.
After Jordy gets home from the hospital he and Joe have a talk about how Jordy’s mother was killed, and about when Joe was in jail for killing his daughter’s killer.
Now it’s Christmas, Jordy gets a wild horse, caught by Erasmus, from Joe. The day after a lot of neighbours come to Joe and Jordy, together they build a corral. Jordy have some trouble taming the horse so he goes to visit the reservation chief (Albert Greenshoots) there he gets both advice and many Indian stories.
Together Joe and Albert tame the horse, they teach it to have a saddle on it’s back, but Jordy is afraid to ride it. He tells miss MacTavish about his horse, and that he can’t ride her. Miss MacTavish tells Jordy about Emily, a blind girl, she has been giving riding lessons. Jordy agree to be Emily’s riding mate, he really like Emily. The foreman at the ranch, Fred Brady, is the man who threw the bottle in Jordy’s head and the brother of the man that killed Jordy’s mother. After riding with Emily Jordy gets the courage to saddle his own horse and ride it. Jordy goes riding in the prairie, after the ride he meets Marabel Hind, she had been teaching Jordy’s mother at school.
Jordy and Emily goes for a long ride, when they get back Emily’s parents are mad because they didn’t say where they were going. Jordy gets in a fight with Brady because he called his mother a dog, Emily’s father hear it and Brady gets fired. The same night Jordy’s horse disappears. It’s probably stolen. Jordy goes to a rodeo with Mr. Campbell (the man who brought him to his grandfather), there he find his horse, and he rides her home.
Emily and Jordy decides to be in a race, Joe makes an Indian saddle his horse. In the race Emily falls off the horse and they have to slow down. Jordy discover that he has got a really good horse, and he gets invited to another race. In the race there is a lot of good horses and riders, among them is Fred Brady. Brady accuses Jordy of cheating, but Jordy wins after all. And he decides to call his horse Siksika.
This is a novel about a young boy, and his quest for an identity. Jordy is an Indian, but because he has lived almost his whole life with whites he is an outsider on both sides. He has been splitted out of his Indian culture, but doesn’t look like a white. In a way he is an Indian with a white boys mind and thoughts. Through the story Jordy meets a lot of people and they all help him in their own way, while he is “seeking for himself”.
One of the persons who help Jordy is his grandfather, Joe, he has been to jail, and that is where he has learned about Indian culture. He didn’t realise before he got in jail how important it was to take care of your roots, he tell Jordy a lot of things he has learned from experience, for instance that education is important, without it you may be used and get in trouble. He also tells Jordy about marriage and how important it is to stick to your wife. Joe doesn’t like white people, mainly because they killed his wife.
Albert Greenshoots is the chief of the reservation, he learn Jordy a lot about Indian culture, he shows Jordy old Indian objects and tells him Indian stories. Albert knows a lot about horses and tell Jordy a story that helps him find a way of helping his horse by using an old Indian saddle. Albert also said to Jordy, by one occasion, that Jordy got to find a vision for himself, and by that he means that Jordy has to find his own place in society. I believe that made Jordy think.