Daily Archives: March 18, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Coming-of-Age and Identity Conflicts

9f1e9-parttimeindianTitle: The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian

Author: Sherman Alexie

You must read this book because…this novel tells the story of a Native American teenager named Arnold “Junior” Spirit who suffers from physical ailments including hydrocephalus (which he refers to as “water on the brain”) and lives on a poverty-stricken reservation in eastern Washington. It’s first and foremost a bildungsroman (coming-of-age story) that focuses on Arnold’s transition into adulthood after he transfers to Reardan High School.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but its themes and messages would resonate most with teenagers and young adults who would find it to be more relatable. It explores topics common in teenage-oriented books such as bullying, identity, self-esteem, while also delving into the many economic hardships the protagonist must face as he develops and grows. However, the novel continuously maintains a dichotomy of tragedy and humor as it successfully deals with issues such as alcoholism and death while lightening the mood with a combination of funny comics/drawings and the protagonist’s sardonic narration.

The novel covers such a wide range of themes that anyone can find an aspect to empathize with and yet also looks at more unfamiliar subjects such as the struggles of Native Americans in modern society. There is rarely a dull moment and both the plot and narration are highly engaging.

In my opinion, this novel truly contains something for everyone and is most certainly worth reading.

Read this if you like…

–Ziqi, Greenwood, Teen Blogger