Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Title:               The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Category:       Audio Book, Young Adult
Grade:            6 - 11
Author:          Sherman Alexie
Narrator:       Sherman Alexie
Publisher:       Recorded Books
Date:               2008
Pages:             240

Born and raised on an Indian reservation, Arnold soon realizes that his people are trapped in an endless cycle of poverty and alcohol abuse.  Although it is traitorous to his tribe, Arnold is determined to escape, and begins attending schools the local all-white high school.  This chronicle of his year follows him through losing and regaining his best friend, trying to fit in with his new set of peers, winning the girl of his dreams (sort of), becoming a star basketball player, and coping with the deaths of his grandmother and sister.

Alexie, who based the book on his own experiences, writes with a wry and sometimes off the wall wit sure to keep teens laughing, as well as an extremely candid and often poignant perspective on the deep and complicated issues that often challenge the economically disadvantaged and those in racial minorities.  Hearing the book in the author’s singsong Native voice gives such authenticity to the story that it becomes difficult to imagine he is reading words off a page.  Language, violence, crude humor and sexual content may raise objections, particularly with parents of younger readers.


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