Sherman Alexie is an American Indian author of The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian. This book is about a teenage American Indian boy who lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation and goes to an all-white school. It touches on subjects such as loss, identity, hopes, and dreams. The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie widened my perspective. There is a mix of light heartedness and humor with the darkness and loss. It also broadened my knowledge on American Indians. Additionally, I enjoyed Sherman Alexie’s writing style combined with Ellen Forney’s illustrations.
I never really read books with humor. So this was a change for me, but I enjoyed it. Sherman Alexie adds humor to this story even in the darkest of times. For example, at Junior’s grandmother’s wake he writes,
“And so, laughing and crying, we said good-bye to my grandmother. ”
“And all of us laughed as we walked and drove and rode our way back to our lonely, lonely houses.”
When things were tough for Junior, Sherman Alexie added bits of humor to lighten it up for the reader. Aside from the humor, there was a lot of darkness and loss in this book. It was a lot of loss for a kid to go through, which was unique factor to add to the book, but unfortunately its reality.
Before reading this book, I had little to no knowledge of American Indians. After reading it, I now know a lot more about them and I am interested in learning even more about them and how lives were for American Indians living on reservations. I liked learning about Junior’s life and his story. It was very interesting in learning about how a kid my age would live on a reservation. Junior had a lot of hardships throughout the book and they made me not want to put it down. I kept wanting to know how Junior would push through the tragedies that happened in his life.
One unique characteristic of the novel is the interplay of text and cartoon. Alexie’s writing style and the inclusion of drawings in this book enhance the readers’ experience. The writing was very lighthearted most of the time which also kept the mood very light even when it was about tragic things. Alexie could also write with a darker tone when necessary. Forney’s illustrations helped the reader understand what tragedies Junior was going through. The pictures feel as if Junior himself is drawing them and expressing his feelings. Most of the time, I read books by authors who write about dystopian worlds and intriguing plots, so this was a bit of a stretch for me, but I ended up enjoying Sherman Alexie’s novel. If he ever wrote again for young adults and kids, then I would definitely check it out.
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. It has something for everyone. From its humor to the struggle of dealing with hardships. In my opinion, every eighth grade student should read this book. This book deals a lot with the matter of friendship and how the choices you make influence the friendships you have. It is a very good book to read at this age because the story is told in point of view of someone young. Pick up a copy of Sherman Alexie’s The True Diary of a Part Time Indian today.