Brilliant Books

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

This story was excellent! Told from the point of view of 14 year old Arnold Spirit Jr. also known as Junior.

Junior was born with Hydrocephalus, a diverseability that causes, seizures, a lisp, and Junior to be smaller in size. Because of his diverseability, Junior is often bullied, not only by other kids on the Spokane Indian Reservation, but by some of the adults as well.

While Junior is an intelligent student, one of his teachers recognizes that he would get farther in life, if he leaves the reservation. Junior considers what the teacher tells him, and eventually decides that he wants to go to school off the reservation, at an all white school.

The story progresses through Junior’s first year at this new school, the racism that he encounters there, and the hostility that he encounters at home on the Reservation. Junior is now seen by many of the other First Nations people on his Reservation as a traitor for taking his education off the Reservation and trying to be better than he was.

The story was both eye-opening and heartbreaking to read. Early on we are told that Junior is an aspiring cartoonist, and his story is often illustrated with his own cartoons.

The story deals with many hard topics: death, grief, racism, bullying, alcoholism, poverty, violence, sexuality, profanity, and slurs.

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