Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

This book is a must-read for every tween and young teen out there. Oh, and their parents too. I love what Neil Gaiman had to say on the jacket cover.

"Excellent in every way, poignant and really funny and
heartwarming and honest and wise and smart…. I have no
doubt that in a year or so it'll both be winning awards and
being banned."

The three things I loved the most:

1. Junior's voice. Alexie did a brilliant job of not only creating a likable, funny, flawed character, but his voice. I can usually picture a character - no problem, but I could hear Junior in the dialogue. His vocabulary, sentence structure, and style were perfectly pubescent boy.

2. Ellen Forney's art. Not too much - just enough. It still felt like a novel, not a graphic novel and was humorous, well-placed, and brutally honest.

3. Junior & Rowdy - the relationship. I've lived this relationship. The reader understands this relationship. It's perfectly imperfect. Love vs. Hate. Jealousy vs. Pride. Loyalty vs. Self. I was worried for the first couple of chapters that we might start getting "the other side of the story" - The Rowdy side. I didn't want it. I just wanted his reactions - strong, angry, violent - to Junior's new life. Rowdy wasn't a caricature of a best friend and he didn't come around in the end. Junior leaving the reservation wasn't just life changing for Junior, it changed Rowdy's life too - but not for the better.

The one thing (or three things) that I had a bit of a hard time swallowing and felt sorta "over the top" were the back to back to back deaths of Junior's grandma, Eugene, and his sister. It didn't keep me from loving the book and recommending it to everyone I know, but it felt gratuitous. Or maybe I just didn't want anything else bad to happen to Junior.

My twelve-year-old son loved it too.

Peace ~ Love ~ Books

Blog you later!

Ali B.


Anonymous said...

Great review. I can't wait to read this book. - Amy

Anonymous said...

Great review - can't wait to read this book!