The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Junior is a Native American. He’s lived on the “rez” (reservation) all of his life. When he was born, he had “water on the brain”, his own poetic way of saying his brain was damaged. However, that doesn’t stop him from being the smartest kid on the reservation, excelling in his classes, falling in love with geometry. Then, he has a life realization. He is stuck. There is no moving forward on the rez. He will inevitably fall behind, desperately behind in academics. He’ll probably grow up to be an alcoholic like his dad and many others in the reservation. Junior decides, effective immediately, that he needs to get out of there, before it’s too late. So, in a mild panic, he transfers to Reardan. It’s an wealthy, all-white school. Fearful, he makes the daring move. His tribe is furious, for it’s a betrayal. Despite their feelings, Junior stays strong. He is having an extremely hard time being accepted in his new school. The bullying and racism is awful. Finally, by just being himself (smart, and with some mean basketball skills), Junior is not seen as the “Indian boy” anymore, but as a friend or a teammate or classmate. This book is beautiful and hilarious and tearful, all while telling history raw and truthful. * I recommend this book for ages 12 & up, because it does contain some mature content that is not appropriate for little birdies :).


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