The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian – Sherman Alexie
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Age Level: 12+
Reader’s Annotation: Junior knows that hope exists, he’s just sure it’s not to be found at his home on the Spokane Reservation. When Junior makes the decision to earn a better education, and the way out of his depressed Indian community, he learns many things about his culture and himself.
Summary: Junior is a Spokane Indian with a desire to get out and survive. He doesn’t want to be like his sister or his grandma, or his dog for that matter. In order to find a place with hope, Junior enrolls at the all white school twenty miles from his house. What happens at Riordan challenges Junior’s assumptions about his tribe and himself.
Evaluation: A great title that will reach out to everyone who has ever felt outcast by his community or school. Junior is a resilient character that stays with you, and challenges you to get outside your comfort zone.
Author Info: Acclaimed adult author of poetry, books and screen plays. This book won the National Book Award.
Booktalk Ideas: How would you feel if . . . death? Indian? Hopeless?
Challenges: Frank discussion of masturbation.
Selection: Assigned reading, although I will admit to liking this book much more on my second reading.