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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman Alexie

Budding Cartoonist, Junior, lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation and attends the Reservation school.  Upon receiving his math textbook for the year, Junior realizes that the book has his mother's maiden name in it and that it is the very same text book that his mother used some thirty years before.  Outraged at the ancient textbook and realizing that staying on the Reservation means a life short on opportunity, Junior decides that he needs to leave the Res and attend school with White kids in a distant town outside of the Reservation's boundaries.  Junior's journey is filled with struggles and hardships that could easily have become cliched plot devices, yet the character is so skillfully, honestly, and optimistically written that the plot and the story never devolve into cliches.  The unvarnished realities of life on the Reservation are come to life on the page in a way that conveys the frustration and hopelessness of life on the Reservation, but also the sense of love and respect that Junior feels for his tribe and people of his community.  Absolutely one of the very best YA books published last year!!! 

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