- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Collectors edition (December 9, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316068209
- ISBN-13: 978-0316068208
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Arnold Spirit (Junior) is a Native American which you can tell from the title of the book. All his life he has lived with a brain disorder. Now as he comes into his freshman year of high school he decides to go to the white high school in the farm town over. This might not seem much, at today's standards but to his tribe leaving the tribe for another school is like cheating on you're own kind. Of course, this cause back lash from his family and friends at the reservation. But as he navigates his life between the reservation and the white farm town high school, he sees and believes things he could be, much bigger than the lives at the reservation where everyone is usually drunk.
I've got mixed thoughts about this book. It is amazing at the detail and the entertainment factor, but there's something about it that you think," This means a lot more deeper than it appears." Not that I don't understand this book, but this novel is quite a deep book if you break it down and think about it. It wasn't bad per se, but let's say inapropriate at some parts, so much that I had to skip a few pages. But I also think that having that is a great part because it shows the absolute true part of the novel, and I think Sherman Alexie really nailed it.
Sherman Alexie is an amazing author I have to confess. He writes many Native American novels for adults and this is his first young adult book, and I have to say he's done an amazing job. His style of writing is what really drawn me in and made me want to read. His comedic voice that he wrote from Arnold's point of view was ever refreshing and didn't seem scripted or awkward in the dialogue as some authors can make it be. Not sure if I want to check out any other novel's he written, but thoroughly enjoyed his writing skills/style.
The illustrator of this novel is Ellen Forney and she did an amazing job as depicting and perfectly blending the novel with the drawings that Arnold creates in the book. Her sense of humor and I'm guessing that she also worked with Sherman Alexie is equal if not more than laugh out loud quality. Her style of drawing was a new way that I've ever seen and it was not at all polished in a way the seems like a professional drew it, or to dull a babying that it looked like a kinder-gardener drew.
Some key points I have to go over is the realistic and fantasy like the novel gave off as I read along. There was a time when I felt like this story was absolutely true and there were times where I thought," Nope that did not happen. Can't be happening." So it was equal in a way. As many characters grew and mainly Arnold I felt like I was growing with them and it wasn't just an over night change of decisions because we all know that can't possibly happen. It's like saying I'm going to start going to the gym every day for an hour starting today. No way it can't happen and I'm glad it didn't happen in the novel. Also death, huge part in the novel, which is not a huge spoiler, but you have to understand death is an everyday thing that occurs all over the world and I didn't feel like it hit home hard. There was the omgness that I felt when a character passed away, but you have a feeling that nothing in Arnold's life is normal. A favorite part of this novel was when Arnold states that he can't count how many funerals he's been, when the kids at Rearden(white kid school) can count on one hand. It really upset me and I can to an extent understand, but because I've never known anyone to die before it's extremely difficult to understand the sorrow and missingness you feel as that person leaves.
Well I don't think that I need to drabble on anymore than I've already did, so I tip my hat to all of you that have read The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I would love to hear your comments and reactions to this book. Also any book recommendations please feel free and leave as a comment.