“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”

Sherman Alexie’s children’s novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a heart-warming tale of young boy growing up on a Native American Reservation with excessive cerebral fluid. Overcoming his less than likely odds of survival, Junior tries to lead the life of a normal Indian boy until he realizes that to be successful he must leave the reservation. He wants to break the monotonous cycle that most Indians on the res get stuck in, and he realizes to find more opportunities he must enlist in the white school outside his reservation. Becoming an outcast to the rest of his community and seen as a traitor for trying to be “white,” Junior faces harassment both on and off the res.

The novel discusses how Native Americans are discriminated against, and are essentially stuck on the res since it is hard for them to find jobs anywhere else. Not only does discrimination prevent them from leaving, but in an extremely tribal society, it is very rare for families to split up. In one of the chapters, Junior asks his parents why the Indians celebrate Thanksgiving, since shortly after the first celebratory feast, the Caucasians embraced a full on genocide of the Native Americans, systematically kicking them off their lands and destroying their livelihoods.

For more information about the author and his book:

http://www.shmoop.com/absolutely-true-diary-part-time-indian/resources.html

 

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