The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

  Regina  Review by:  Lisa

Title:  The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian

Author:  Sherman Alexie

Collection:  Teen Books

My first read of Sherman Alexie’s novels – and a pick for One Maryland, One Book for 2011 is an uplifting read about 14 year old Junior, who lives on the bleak Spokane rez with his alcoholic parents and an older sister who never leaves the basement. Junior, because of his size and health problems, against all odds, somehow still maintains hope and this hope spurns him on to leave his own school to attend an all white high school inconveniently located 22 miles away in a farming community. Junior’s “friends” on the rez, shun and bully him even further for leaving, and even his best main man, Rowdy, is out to maim him on the basketball court.

“. . . I realized that, sure, Indians were drunk and sad and displaced and crazy and mean, but dang, we knew how to laugh. When it comes to death, we know that laughter and tears are pretty much the same thing.”

Although terrible, tragic situations arise, Alexie gets his point across with a sense of humor and hilarious cartoons. Reading it after me is my 15 year old son, who was surprised by how much he enjoyed it. Don’t let the blunt language and the real thoughts of a teen boy put you off – this book is a definite winner.

To deepen your reading and knowledge of Sherman Alexie, look more into his background and see the correlation between his life and his novel.

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