The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Pages: 230 of some of the best writing I've ever read!!
In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
My son read this book last year and told me how much he loved it. I'd been meaning to get to it sometime but kept letting other books get in the way. Saturday during the Read-a-Thon this book was in my short list of possible reads. Marc came in to check on my progress and said, "Mom, you have to read this book next." So I did and I have to tell you that it blew me away!! I can see why it won the National Book Award. This is a story of a young man who has only known life on the "rez." This life encompasses poverty, alcoholism, funerals, and a school where not much is expected or given in return. Junior is smart, too smart for reservation school. His teacher tells him that he must get out of the rez so that he can be saved. The only way for him to do that is to go to an all-white school 20 miles away. When he decides to do this he experiences racism ,not only from the white kids, which he expected, but also from his own people. Through this ordeal Junior deals with his emotions and experiences by expressing himself with his art. The added bonus in this book is the marvelous illustrations. You will cry, laugh, and root for Junior every step of the way. His journey will give you hope. You will want everyone you know to read this book so that they too can be inspired by this special kid who didn't let anything stand in his way of becoming a better person. This book is at the top of my all-time favorite YA books and one of the best books I've read this year. Run don't walk to the library to get your hands on this one!!