The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Little, Brown & Co., 2007 (2007)
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Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
' Spirit is poor and expects to stay poor all his life, just like the rest of the reservation Indians. When he is fourteen, a disillusioned reservation teacher tells him that his only hope for a better life is to leave the reservation. The sooner, the better.
is something Junior thinks is only for the white man. With the consent of his parents Junior leaves the reservation school and goes to a rich white school in the nearby, all-white town of Reardon.
unior, a funny looking, wimpy kid, is the underdog on the reservation. His one friend is Rowdy. Rowdy is so mean and out of control that he got into his first fist fight in kindergarten. Whenever Rowdy is around, he protects Junior from bullying.
t Reardon Junior remains an outcast who is looked down on and laughed at. He is friendless at this new school and Rowdy (his only friend on the reservation) now shuns him. The other rez Indians consider him a traitor and he is called an
- red on the outside, but white on the inside. Things begin to turn around at Reardon when Junior becomes a basketball star, but tension mounts on the reservation.
he Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
is written in diary form. Junior fills his journal with cartoon art (drawn by Ellen Forney) which is as descriptive as his words. Sherman puts a comic spin on Junior's attempt to find happiness off the reservation, but never makes light of the seriousness of his life on and off the reservation.
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