Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

By Sherman Alexie

Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation. Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone bus his best friend. Determined to recieve a good education, Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attacks life with wit and humor and discovers a strength inside himself that he never knew existed.
Inspired by his own experiences growing up, award-winning author Sherman Alexie chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one unlucky boy trying to rise above the life everyone expects him to live.

I have a bit of a torn nature about this book. I'm super sheltered, and so a lot of the things that he talks about in this book I thought were really inapropriate, even if it's true. And a big disclaimer for strong language and crudity abounds. There is a lot of talk of sexuality and other teenage hormone related things. There is lots of drinking as well and deaths. This book is rough to review because it is a true telling of what being an Indian on a 'rez' is like and how hard it is to break free of those expectations that Junior aka Arnold has on him to stay there forever. There are lots of laughs in this book, tears, and struggles for meaning and a purpose in life. I'd recommend it to those who don't mind or care about language and a bit of leud teen language and references. And I mean crude. All in all, I won't recommend this book; had good stuff in it, but too much of the bad to take. It's kinda like biting into a cupcake and then realizing there's a cockroach in the middle. Sad sad day.

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