Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Life isn't easy for Junior, growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation.  He's poor, he's surrounded by alcohol abuse, and he's been ostracized by the tribe since transferring to the white school in the next town.  But he's determined to use his cartooning, his basketball skills and his relationships with his friends and family to succeed despite the odds.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie with art by Ellen Forney was a World Book Night selection for 2012.

This engaging semi-autobiographical tale will give kids of all ethnic backgrounds plenty to relate to while showing them what it's like to grow up Native American.  Alexie pulls no punches, giving us a world full of violence, tragedy, profanity and disappointment.  But he also gives us a good deal of hope.  No matter what Junior is faced with (and he's faced with a lot), it never takes him long to regain his sense of humor and focus on improving his own situation.  Much of that humor is found in the illustrations, which use a variety of styles as Junior experiments with his craft.  Not only does this book fill a (still too large) gap in literature featuring Native American experiences, but it will give every reader something to connect with.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and retails for $11.99 (paperback).  I bought mine with my very own money.  You can get yours at Left Bank today!

Join us Wednesday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Left Bank Books--Central West End for the April meeting of Teen Reads, a reading group for ages 12 to 18, when we will discuss The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

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