September marks a change in pace. New weather (so glad fall is almost here!), and a new school year. So we’re changing it up, too. This month we’ve picked something that’s been on many schools’ required reading lists (and taken off many) since it’s publication in 2007: The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney, this young adult novel follows the story of Arnold Spirit Jr., a unique protagonist. He’s a 14-year-old amateur cartoonist living on the Spokane Indian Reservation who goes by “Junior.” The story begins when he makes the controversial decision to venture off the reservation to go to an all-white high school in a border town. The son of two alcoholics, a victim of bullying, and the epitome of awkward; Junior’s story is endearing, brave, funny, and a coming of age story for the ages.
This is the first YA novel by Alexie, who’s had careers in stand-up comedy, screenwriting, film production, songwriting, and other fiction genres. The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has won him critical acclaim and numerous awards. It’s also borne the brunt of a lot of controversies. Apparently some aren’t comfortable with the book’s depiction of violence, sexuality, race, addiction, bullying, and poverty. But let’s be honest, who can think of any academic required reading that hasn’t met with some controversy at some point. But we’ll just have to see (read) for ourselves.
We hope you’ll read along with us! Share using #booklymark