Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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Author : Sherman Alexie
Published : October 1st 2009
Page count : 230
Series : N/A 
Format : Paperback

 Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation. Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone but his best friend. Determined to receive a good education, Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attacks life with wit and humor and discovers a strength inside of himself that he never knew existed.

Inspired by his own experiences growing up, award-winning author Sherman Alexie chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one unlucky boy trying to rise above the life everyone expects him to live.

This book came to my attention during banned books week, and was gifted to me during a giveaway. I'm very happy to have it in my collection! Sherman Alexie breathed life into an incredible cast of characters, and definitely sucks you into his story with Junior's dry humor. Ellen Forney did a truly amazing job at illustrating, making me giggle on more than one occasion.

The story is definitely an inspiring one. Junior is essentially isolated, and doomed to grow up into a life of poverty and hopelessness. He shows incredible courage and strength as he decides to transfer to an all-white school, leaving the rez. He then has to deal with a crushing amount of personal losses, but his spirit remains strong. He is a truly remarkable character!

I really loved Junior's wit - coupled with the illustrations, it made for a grin-worthy read. Alongside that, Alexie also delivers some really heart-felt passages that made me really connect with his characters. I can't say much without revealing some major plot-points, but the poor kid goes through so much!

The pacing in this book was really great; I felt neither bored nor overwhelmed at any point while I was reading. It is certainly a book worthy of re-reading, and is one of those books that you can go to when you need a bit of moral support. Definitely worthy of it's bestseller title!


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