Monday, June 23, 2008

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

From the very beginning of this book, it is obvious why it is one of the most popular teen books out there right now. The main character of the book, Junior, wastes no time in explaining to the reader why he is an outcast and a loser, not only in his small town, but also at his school. Every teen can immediately identify with him, no matter what their background. Junior goes on to describe what most teens can't identify with, what most of them know absolutely nothing about: life on an Indian Reservation. He describes it in unflinching detail, with all of the worst, and best, parts included.
Junior's story follows him as he realizes that the only way he'll escape the trap of the reservation is to go to the white high school. By taking this step he is putting himself in the position of outcast at his new school, and traitor to his old one. Junior must learn to deal with the everyday struggles of his new school while also dealing with the prejudice of his tribe, including his former best friend.
This book is incredibly honest and forthright about the struggles that Junior faces. It is also incredibly funny. This is a fantastic book for teens, especially reluctant readers, as the subject matter, and Junior's illustrations, will really get them into the story.

2 comments:

Rebecca Reid said...

I met Sherman Alexie and really didn't like him (quite self-absorbed), but maybe I'll give his book a try despite that! I've heard great things about this one too.

Jeska said...

I think as a book to recommend, this one is better for teens. I definitely liked Flight better, and would recommend that to anyone.