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One of my favorite works by Spokane/Couer d'alene Indian Sherman Alexie is "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian," a book written for young adults-but one that can be enjoyed by young and old and readers in between. The book has won many awards, including the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and the School Library Journal Award. Despite all this deserved critical praise, the book is among the most banned books in the schools of several states, ranking close to Huckleberry Finn. This is because, in it's darkly humorous way, the book deals with some real, and at times, rough subject matter: Alcoholism, domestic violence, poverty and teenage sexual frustration. The fact that its teenage protagonist mentions masturbation three times seems to be at the heart of the banning issue. . . . Read Susan's complete review of this book in Kudos »— Susan Lang
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. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie's YA debut, released in hardcover to instant success, recieving seven starred reviews, hitting numerous bestseller lists, and winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.