Monday, December 10, 2007

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Arnold, also known as junior is a Spokane Indian with medical issues, lots of smarts, a talent for shooting baskets, living on a reservation with a mediocre school, dreams of a better future.

In pursuing his dreams, Arnold chooses to attend white school 22 miles away. He is rejected both at home where other Indians call him white and at school where kids find all kinds of names to call him. The rejection includes losing his one best friend who he misses terribly. He sometimes has to walk the distance from school as his parents cannot always afford gas money and his father drinks. But, he finds support both from his dysfunctional family and from some of the kids at the white school. Along the way he experiences the deaths of several people important to him. Punches a white bully in the face and much to his surprise gains the kid's respect, Faces his former best friend in basketball, twice, as a member of the white school team, shares with readers the rampant alcohol abuse on reservations and how it hurts the Indians and keeps sight of his dreams against the odds. Another book, Tequila Worm by Canales looks at a Latina girl with dreams of a better future and the support of her family as she grows up and away from them, same theme, different cultures, wonderful stories.
jdw 12/10/07

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