The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Thorndike Literacy Bridge Young Adult)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie, Ellen Forney I should put a disclaimer on this review by saying that I rarely give five stars to any book. Very rarely, particularly where fiction is concerned, because it's rare that I find a book that completely keeps me reading from page to page without stopping and allows me to really think about the matters presented within it. That said, I'm baffled that there are people who aren't looking at this story for what it is and feel affected by it. I'm even more baffled as to why this book has been banned (which it really shouldn't have been, even with its frank content. It's not really worse that what some teens are exposed to in contemporary literature, and sometimes that exposure is far less constructive that it is in this book, meaning it's honest about the life of the character and based on an actual account. But that's just my personal opinion, no offense intended.)Sherman Alexie creates a narrative account of some of his experiences in the guise of Junior, a fourteen year old who accounts for his life on the reservation as well as moving to an all-white school several miles from the reservation in order to receive better educational opportunities. There are many moments in this book that will make you laugh silly with its sincerity and brutal honesty (even when it makes you say "I can't believe he just said that!"). There are other moments when you feel sucker punched in the gut because of what happens to Junior and the people around him.I am familiar with Alexie's previous works and while it does strike similar tones in spurts, I thought this was still a potent tale that I think that the intended audience could get some honest lessons from. As to what those lessons are: growing up, overcoming adversity, having tolerance, and learning that there's always someone out there who understands you even if they hate your guts...well, in so many words.It's really a great story, and honestly if I had a teenage son or daughter, I really would let them read this book and have an open discussion with them about it afterwards, because there is a lot that I think it touches base upon that's constructive. You don't see a lot of stories that really have this kind of approach and depth - despite its frankness - in humor and realism.Overall score: 4.5/5