Home > Humorous Stories, Intermediate Fiction, Senior Fiction > The Absolute True Diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolute True Diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolute true diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Pub. Manchester Book Group, 2007.

I have only just caught up with this title and it is a ripper! I road tested this novel  with several High Schools, talking to year 9/10 students of all reading levels and they loved it.

What is refreshing about this novel is that it exposes racism towards the American Indian nation by the white population, through humour. Nobody would write a novel like this in New Zealand, it would be too unPC.

I applaud the approach because as you are laughing, the truth and inhumanity of the situation just comes and kicks you in the guts. I love it when that happens.

Brought up on an Indian reservation, Junior was born with “water on the brain” that resulted in him having seizures, a stutter and a lisp. He also had 42 teeth, 10 of which were extracted in one day as the dentist only visited the Reservation once a year.

He grew up tough and he grew up mean, but his intelligence and wit saw him through. The kids on the reservation called him a “retard” and he was beat up all the time. His best friend Rowdy protected him but wanted him to stay where he was on the reservation. He also beat Junior up.

Read the rules of Fisticuffs on pages 61 &62 are an eye opener.

Junior had aspirations and after an incident with a white teacher, he is persuaded to enroll at a “white school” 22 miles from the reservation. This sets the book alight as the attitude of the white kids at Reardan School is that “Indians didn’t deserve shit”

If you want to know how Junior gets on, read the book yourself. The basketball games are incredible and Junior’s quest for acceptance will make your soul sing.

Simply one of the best books I have ever read.

Will appeal to readers from Intermediate school level through to adults. Read it!!!

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