by Sherman J. Alexie
What if you had the chance to change your life? What if you could follow your dreams but had to leave your friends and family? What would it be like for you? How would you feel? Would you take your chance?
Arnold “Junior“ Spirit had this chance. If he had left his old school, with no hope, no chances, no future, he could have followed his dreams.
And so he did; he changed from the reservation school to Reardan High School, to people, who are not like Arnold; not as smart as him, but they are different in another way; they are white. The 14-year-old Indian Arnold lived in two worlds. One full of white kids who don't make Arnold feel welcome, full of dreams, full of hope!
And the other world, full of poverty and sadness. But is he a traitor because he follows his dreams?
To be honest; this book has its ups and downs and that's why it's a very good one!
It feels like you are closer to a “teenie“ who has many problems. It seems that you know this person and you can identify with Arnold. There are so many tips how you can go through the hard times in life. It also shows you that friendship is important and the little things in life can make you happy and that's the way you can follow your dreams.
And that's why I think it's a great book : The message behind it and the entertaining humor. The writer, Sherman Alexie, did a great job writing Arnold´s feelings down and describing his situations.This book should be read by everyone!
Senada Esati, 8b
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' tells the story of Junior "Arnold" Spirit, a poor and bullied boy, who lives on the Spokane Indian reservation (´rez´) in Wellpinit, Washington, USA. Born with forty-two teeth, very big hands and feet and water on the brain, his life isn't easy at all. His reservation is very poor, most of the Indians, his dad included, try to forget their pain with the help of alcohol - violence and drugs aren't unusual. Therefore he decides to leave his hopeless home and starts a new life at Reardan High, a school for whites where he is the only Indian.
The writing of 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' is very fluent. It is easy to understand and the informal and funny style makes the actually sad topic more comfortable. Black humor is used in the same way, which really makes the reader laugh. The book shows the life of Indians from a completely unusual side, because it isn't always the romantic, free, traditional life close to nature. Often, reservations like the Spokane Reservation are poor and full of hopeless Indians. Sherman J. Alexie shows this life without future prospects and illustrates this well with his main character Junior. Junior isn't the typical 'hero' of a book and has many problems, wherefore it is easier to identify with him. Furthermore I like the book because it shows the breakthrough of a destiny and tells the reader that even if your life is horrible, you should never give up. The story seems to be closely related to the story of the author; he grew up on the Spokane rez too and changed school to Reardan High. Consequently the story is very natural and realistic.
All in all, I like the story very much because the author writes in a great way and the comics help to understand the book. I think, he did a great job, too, because he dealt with big problems, but wrapped it in a beautiful story.
I would recommend it to everybody who is interested in the life of Indians provided that she/he likes thought provoking stories. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who prefers action stories or who has learned English for less than four years because then it might be a bit difficult to understand the book.
Anyway, I think the book is a good school read because it is a change to the normal English class and you get a good insight into the life of Indians in America.
Melanie Riebel, 8b