Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

This one's an odd tale--mostly autobiographical, I'm told--about a teenage boy growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He's creative and smart, but he's also lived with a host of medical problems. As the story unfolds, he decides to transfer to a school off the reservation in a nearby community. He catches flack from his friends and neighbors for leaving, and he endures all the challenges of being a minority kid in a different culture. His journey is recounted with humor, teenaged philosophy and great illustrations by Ellen Forney. It's a great read, one that goes a bit deeper than a generic coming-of-age story. It brought to mind the fact that I tend to approach people and cultures from my own cultural perspective. When I see the problems of a person, say a poor, Native-American teenager, I fail to realize not only all the issues that may underlie the situation but also the cultural forces that may make my "solution" to the problems unworkable.

I think I'd like this one on my shelf.
LibraryThing link


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