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. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie's YA debut, released in hardcover to instant success, recieving seven starred reviews, hitting numerous bestseller lists, and winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
The Worst Thing About Being Poor
By James Horswill - October 2, 2007
"Do you know the worst thing about being poor?" asks Junior Spirit at the beginning of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." It's not hunger, he insists. "Sure, sometimes my family misses a meal, and sleep is the only thing we have for dinner, but I know that, sooner or later, my parents will come busting through the door with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken."
Then Junior tells us the worst thing about being poor, and it will break your heart.
"Diary" is a novel for young adults by Sherman Alexie. It tells the story of a 14-year-old Indian who goes off the rez to attend Reardan, an all-white school. A more pedestrian writer would have his protagonist leave the reservation entirely, but Junior continues to live there with his parents, and he comes to fear that he no longer belongs in either world.
Junior aspires to be a cartoonist, and he fills this "diary" with mordant, self-deprecating drawings. The work of Ellen Forney, they are funny... read more
I almost cried a few times and I laughed a lot
By Debra Garfinkle "author of books for teens an... - October 5, 2007
For a story about an impoverished teen on an Indian reservation who has an alcoholic father and faces bullies and racism and the deaths of several close relatives, I sure laughed a lot. I loved the written humor and the wonderful cartoons throughout the book, as well as learning something about life on a reservation. I finished this fast-paced book in two days and was sorry to see it end. This is one of my favorite young adult novels of 2007.
Richie's Picks: THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN
By Richie Partington "Richie's Picks" - September 5, 2007
"Mr. President you ought to know that this nation is more a 'Tale of Two Cities' than it is just a 'Shining City on a Hill.' " -- Mario Cuomo, 1984 National Democratic Convention Keynote Address
"It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor. You start believing that you're poor because you're stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that you're stupid and ugly because you're Indian. And because you're Indian you start believing you're destined to be poor. It's an ugly circle and there's nothing you can do about it.
So opines high school student and sometime cartoonist Arnold Spirit, aka Junior, who is despondent as his father prepares to shoot Arnold's suffering dog because there is no money to pay for a veterinarian's services. But a math teacher -- whose nose is broken when Arnold, in his frustration, angrily throws his generations-old math book --endeavors to change Arnold's sense of helplessness: