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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie
Illustrated by Ellen Fourney

Published by Litte, Brown, 2007
240 pages
ISBN: 0316013684

Ages 13-16

Arnold Spirit, known as Junior on the Spokane Indian reservation where he has always lived, has always been teased and picked on by his peers because of his multiple physical disabilities. Only his family and his best friend, a tough kid named Rowdy, understand that beneath Juniorís odd exterior there is a brilliant, artistic, athletic, and extraordinarily witty kid. When Junior decides to start ninth grade at the nearest white high school, 22 miles off the reservation, he is thought of as a traitor by those he left behind on the reservation, and as a weird Indian kid by the kids in his new school. But Junior is smart and resilient, and manages to prove himself to the students and staff at his new school through his academic prowess and basketball skills. The reservation kids, however, are not so quick to accept Juniorís new life, especially Rowdy who feels rejected and betrayed. Sherman Alexieís first novel for young adults is hilarious and touching at the same time. With occasional cartoons, frequent self-deprecating humor, and unwavering depth, Junior struggles with his cultural identity as an Indian teenager who wants a different kind of life from his that of his parents and friends. (KTH) ©2007 Cooperative Childrenís Book Center

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