Published by – Little, Brown Books
Genre – Contemporary, Young Adult, Humor
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian as the book of the month for The Banned Books Club started by Shruti from This is Lit. You can find all about the club here.
Not having read the blurb of the book, I went into it knowing absolutely nothing about it except for the fact that it was banned. So it took me way too long to figure out that they lived on a Spokane Indian reservation.
And just to be clear, the Spokane Indians featured in the novel are NOT the Indians from the Indian Subcontinent. The Spokane Indians are actually Native Americans.
The book is written in first person from Junior’s point of view and features many issues including racism, bullying and a main character with disabilities.
My favorite character is probably Junior. He is a likeable narrator and is a tells-it-like-it-is kind of character.
Consisting of flashbacks and illustrations throughout, the story is well paced and and without any major plot twists.
While the subject matter of the book may be controversial, it is very well written with just enough humor. The starting of the book reminded me of Diary of a Wimpy Kid (with the cartoons and all) but as the story continued, it got heavier and by the end it actually left me wanting more of the book.
Having read the book, I can see why it was banned. Mainly because of the racism and sexual content in the book that one might not want being read by school kids.
After finishing the book, I researched the book and the author on Goodreads and Wikipedia. Turns out, there are accusations of sexual assault against Sherman Alexie by several women. This put me in a pickle because the book is like an extension of the author and it can be highly confusing when you like one and not the other due to whatsoever reason. This is why, I have decided not to give it a rating.
Have you read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian? Are you able to distinguish the work from the author? Do share in the comments!