Friday, October 24, 2008

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

As promised, here is a review of The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Arnold Spirit (Junior) is a fourteen-year-old oddball living on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State. He was born with hydrocephalus thus leaving him with some physical attributes that are different from everyone else…leaving him a prime target for teasing. His family is very poor, which not uncommon on the “rez.” Everyone is poor on the reservation. Alcoholism is rampant as well, making the rez a very violent place as tempers often flare and fistfights are very common.

When Arnold decides to transfer schools –off the reservation—he is faced with not only fitting into a new school where Indians are not revered, but he is also seen as a traitor to his Indian friends. Slowly, Arnold finds a group of friends and his niche – basketball.

Arnold learns to balance his Indian life along with his “white” life, and comes to term with himself in the process. Arnold tells his story through a touching narrative and lighthearted cartoons as he provides an insightful peek inside life as a reservation Indian.

What I Thought:
I simply adore this book! Especially since I had the opportunity to hear the author speak recently at the Southern Festival of Books, and he signed my copy.

I think this is an excellent book for all teens. Junior is such a great character and Alexie writes the teenage experience so well it is scary. (But this book is semi-autobiographical, so maybe it isn't so scary after all.)

I HIGHLY recommend this book to all.

This book is the recipient of a number of awards including the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature and 2008 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature in Fiction .

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

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