Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

This is another one of those books that was recommended to me during the spring semester when I was just too busy to remember my own name. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would like it but I was completely sucked in from the beginning and lost some sleep because I didn't want to stop reading.

This is the story of Junior, as he is known on the rez, or Arnold, as he becomes known when he decides to leave his education on the rez and attend the white school 22 miles away. Thus, the part-time Indian. His Indian friends are annoyed and betrayed by his choice, but he is the only Indian at the white school and finds himself tormented by kids because of his background. The story is told from Junior's point-of-view, or rather, retold as he is writing in his diary. He is also an amateur cartoonist and several of his artistic creations are sprinkled through the book, adding humor and realism.

I LOVED this book, but, better yet, there are many students who I think would relate to this book because, in one way or another, most teens have had the experience of thinking they absolutely did not fit in with everyone else for whatever reason. Another reason I like this book is I really think that it could be one enjoyed by male teens - a group of readers who can be difficult to get interested in reading. It does have some swearing and references to the sexual thoughts and desired actions of a teen-age boy so it may not be for sensitive readers. It is within the grading of PG-13 however - really nothing graphic. I highly recommend this book.


Erin H. said...

I loved this book so very much myself. In fact, when Bernice still worked with the NA kids at our school, I recommended it to her and she loved it as well. I'd never read a book like this before, or from the perspective of a Native American student. I thought it was one of the most authentic books young adult books I had read and would love to teach it if only - well, you know. I too was sucked it, and couldn't wait to get home at night to read it, and lost a few nights of sleep over it. Glad you liked it too!

Erin H. said...
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Meditating Mother said...

By the way, I want you to know I read to my two kids EVERY night and have since birth. And if I don't tell them to get a book, they beg me. I thought that would make you grin. And, they both speak well above the average kid. And I'm not the only one that thinks so- strangers, family and their peditrician. I firmly believe if you read to kids they will speak and understand vocabulary better.