03 October 2011
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2007.
Junior is trying to navigate the world of the Indian reservation through a host of medical issues and a severe lack of resources. He is extremely intelligent but still constantly picked on by people twice his size and twice his age. One of his teachers challenges him to go to school off the reservation. Junior then must balance between his life on the reservation, where he is looked down on for deserting his people, and his life at school, where he is being challenged in his classes and accepted by his classmates. Trying to keep the best of both worlds and bridge a gap of misunderstanding is a task much larger than most high school freshman would face, but Junior is up to the challenge.
I loved this book. I loved Junior's sense of humor and his cartoons and illustrations throughout this book. The first-person perspective allowed me to gain greater understanding of life on a reservation and the difficulty Junior must have faced when he began attending the all-white school. If I still had a classroom, this book would be on my shelf.