Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian Author: Sherman Alexie Illustrator: Ellen Forney Publisher: New York, NY; Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Realistic Fiction Level: Intermediate- Upper Number of pages: 230 Pub. Date: 2007
This is the story of Junior a young boy growing up on an Indian Reserve. One day he decides that the education he is getting on the Res is not good enough and convinces his parents that he should go to school off the Reservation. This creates problems for Junior as he tries to figure out where he fits in, with his people on the reservation or with his classmates. This story is based off of the life events of the author.
This book falls under all three types of Realistic Fiction. It is a “becoming one’s own person” type because Junior must grow to understand who he is as a person without his tribe. Also Junior works to gain acceptance from both his tribe and his classmates at his school of the reservation. This book is a “Coping with problems of the human condition” type because Junior has to deal with his own disabilities. Also there are multiple deaths of family members that are dealt with during this book. Finally this book is part of the “Living in a Diverse World” type because it talks about the unequal treatment of the Native Americans on the Reservation versus individuals who live Reservation. This book also talks about the discrimination of the Native Americans when they leave the Reservation.
This book covered many important issues and would be a great book to use as a class literature circle book. It talks about diversity, death, and substance abuse. All of these things are important topics that students need to learn about. I think that this book could be used with a wide range of students because of its easy reading level. That being said I think with younger students (5th graders or younger) you would have to focus on only one of the key issues instead of all of them so that they could truly get what they were suppose to out of it.
During: Students will look for key themes in the book and discuss in literature groups.