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

Oct 25, 2011

Budding cartoonist, Junior (Arnold) Spirit, a 15-year-old Spokane Indian boy, transfers to a white school off the reservation because of his eagerness to learn and frustration over conditions at the “res” school, including 15 year-old science textbooks.  This account of his adjustment to a school with a “Redskin” as mascot is sometimes funny, often poignant, including his adoration of the beautiful blonde Penelope.  Junior’s family and lifestyle come to life as he confronts culture clashes, deaths in the family and predictable bigotry.  His insight and coping skills would be enviable to a mature adult, so they may be slightly skewed in this semi-autobiographical tale written for youth.  But readers of any age who are interested in a good story about modern life on an American Indian reservation will enjoy spending some time with Junior Spirit.

Reviewed by Library Staff