Friday, April 27, 2012

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Pages: 230
Language: PG-13
Content: PG-13 (racial slurs and sexual content)
Level: High School
Recommendation: Must Read

Summary: 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.

Review:  This book is a great insight into one man's experience growing up in modern day Washington on a reservation.  The book is filled with discussion of the underlying racism between Caucasians and Indians in and around two small towns in Washington.  The point of view is that of a typical teenage boy.  I laughed out loud several times while reading this novel.  The language and reference to sexual material fits this stereotypical point of view as well.  I would not recommend this novel to anyone who cannot handle strong language and/or heavy themes.  

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