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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
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Aug 06, 09

bookshelves: finished-in-2009, ya
Read in August, 2009

Sherman Alexie's YA foray is well worth the trip, complemented by the artwork of Ellen Forney, playing the role of young artist Arnold Spirit, Jr. Funny, sad, all that. Some fun basketball scenes along with great commentary about the nature of male friendship when you're young (Arnold's tough buddy Rowdy beats him up quite a bit, but they're great friends -- until Junior moves away to the white high school in Reardan).

Most important to this book is the theme of culture, both what Alexie loves about Indians (how they stick together, truly know each other) and what he hates about them (booze and its awesome toll in lives). After a series of tragedies, the book just sort of trails off. All that was built in the Reardan High School chapters in the middle tends to be left hanging. Other than that, little to complain about. Kids will love the book, though it has its share of naughty words and such. Ah, well. Stock it in your classroom anyway. I plan to.
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