Jennifer's Reviews > The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
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Oct 24, 09

bookshelves: fiction, favorites, owned
Recommended for: all humans
Read in July, 2009 — I own a copy

This is the book I was looking for earlier in the year when I bought Flight instead. Purchased at Grand Rapids downtown Schuler's when I was going out of my mind with boredom after spending all day at the Children's Museum with Jefferson. Luckily, I remembered seeing this store when we parked so I left Jefferson with Andrew and made a quick dash for some intellectual salvation. Unfortunately, while it was a Schuler's it was primarily a downtown bookstore -- the selection sucked. Heavy on book club fare and current events, very light on everything else. Nothing interesting in any featured section, so I started on my list of reliable authors. Was very pleased to find this in paperback.

Anyway, so Diary is a young adult novel about a bright boy who -- to put it bluntly -- is having his soul beaten out of him by the atrocious quality of the rez educational system. Finally a teacher tells him he has to get out before he gives up like everyone else on the rez. Which is how he ends up going to an all-white school 20 miles down the road (also his school's athletic arch-rival.)

It's a great introduction to Alexie and his sharp class and race observations -- and I've been using it as such, trying to get more reading friends hooked on him. Easy to read, the illustrations are wonderful (the narrator is a cartoonist), and dark, but not too dark -- it's really the perfect introduction.
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