Alexie, S. (2007). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian. NY: Little Brown.
Sherman Alexie writes a charming memoir about life as a Spokane Indian. This diary will makes readers laugh and cry but will also make readers think about a different side of Native Americans than what most Americans would expect. The story rings of true adolescence while also pinpointing specificities within the Indian culture. Arnold “Junior” Spirit is the type of narrator that draws readers in with a genuine voice and innocent spirit, and he allows readers to sympathize with him without asking for pity or sorrow. Overall, this story and its endearing prose allows readers a new perspective into Native American culture.
Commentary and Text Connections:
The reader is able to experience the cultural struggles through Junior’s experiences, fears, and accomplishments. A significant lesson to be learned is that everyone is ultimately in control of their own happiness and no one is responsible for the choices you make. An extension that could be used in the classroom would be researching various aspects of the culture, socioeconomic status, as well as reservations today. Junior depicts life on the reservation as realistic as possible to encourage understanding and also compassion from the reader.