The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney

Arnold Spirit, known as Junior on the Spokane Indian reservation where he lives,... read more

Arnold Spirit, known as Junior on the Spokane Indian reservation where he lives, has always been teased and picked on by his peers because of his multiple physical disabilities. Only his family and his best friend, a tough kid named Rowdy, understand that beneath Junior’s odd exterior there is a brilliant, artistic, athletic, and extraordinarily witty kid. When Junior decides to start ninth grade at the nearest white high school, twenty-two miles off the reservation, he is thought of as a traitor by those he left behind on the reservation, and as a weird Indian kid by his new peers. But Junior is smart and resilient, and manages to prove himself to the students and staff at his new school through his academic prowess and basketball skills. The reservation kids, however, are not so quick to accept Junior’s new life, especially Rowdy, who feels rejected and betrayed. Sherman Alexie’s first novel for young adults is hilarious and touching at the same time. With occasional cartoons, frequent self-deprecating humor, and unwavering depth, Junior struggles with his cultural identity as an Indian teenager who wants a different kind of life from his that of his parents and friends. (Ages 13–16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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