"Everyone on the rez calls me a retard about twice a day. They call me a retard when they are pantsing me or stuffing my head in the toilet or just smacking me upside the head." "Do you know what happens to retards on the rez? "We get beat up". "At least one a month" "Yep, I belong to the Black-Eye-of-the-Month-Club"
Growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, Junior has always felt a little bit different. He was born with some brain damage from his parents' alcoholism that left him with ten more teeth than the average human being, enormous feet, a stutter, a lisp and the list goes on. This fourteen-year-old boy has dreams. Left to his own devices he spends his time drawing cartoons because "when you draw a picture, everyone can understand it."
After he throws a book at a teacher at his school on the rez, Junior recognizes he better make a change. His parents support him and he transfers to a high school 22 miles away where the only other Native American is the school mascot.
Lucky for Junior he is smart and he can play some basketball. He gets accepted into the jock circle at his new school.
Written with a mixture of laughter and sorrow, this is the story of a teen, filled with normal teen angst, and loaded down with life experiences of alcoholism, death, abuse, racism, stereotyping, isolation and bullying.
Life on the reservation comes into the sharpest focus through this character's honest, courageous voice. A must read for our high schoolers and adults.
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
230 pages 978-0316013680 Ages 12 and up ********
"Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike."--from the publisher
230 pages 978-0316013680 Ages 12 - 17