In his first book for young adults, 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 acclaimed artist 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.
THE BLACK-EYE-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB
I was born with water on the brain.
Okay, so thats not exactly true. I was actually born with too much cerebral spinal fluid inside my skull. But cerebral spinal fluid is just the doctors fancy way of saying brain grease. And brain grease works inside the lobes like car grease works inside an engine. It keeps things running smooth and fast. But weirdo me, I was born with too much grease inside my skull, and it got all thick and muddy and disgusting, and it only mucked up the works. My thinking and breathing and living engine slowed down and flooded.
My brain was drowning in grease.
But that makes the whole thing sound weirdo and funny, like my brain was a giant French fry, so it seems more serious and poetic and accurate to say, I was born with water on the brain.
Okay, so maybe thats not a very serious way to say it, either. Maybe the whole thing is weird and funny.
But, jeez, did ...
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is quirky and funny and captivating in its improbability because it comes
straight from the author's own life - miraculously, wonderfully, improbably,
Junior possesses an internal strength untrammeled by the insults of others and
piercing in its illumination of sociological faultlines.
(Reviewed by Amy Reading).
Full Review (967 words).
Sherman Alexie and his avatar Junior are members of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Alexie grew up in Wellpinit, the Tribal Headquarters on the Spokane Indian Reservation in eastern Washington. Spokane means "Children of the Sun." The Tribe once inhabited over three million acres of land surrounding the Spokane and Columbia Rivers. In 1775, their population was estimated at between 1400 and 2500 people. The first white man to enter their territory was David Thompson, a trapper, who arrived in 1807. Under the Homestead Act of 1862, white settlers began taking possession of native lands. In 1881, President Rutherford B. Hayes pared the Tribe's land down to the present-day reservation, which comprises about...
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