Last week I was oh so busy! I know it’s still a few weeks away, but I am really looking forward to spring break. I need a few days to be able to relax. Anyway, because my week was so hectic, I was only able to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and about a half-hour worth of Holes by Louis Sachar. So, this week I’ll just write on Alexie’s book, and next week I’ll write on Sachar’s 🙂
I loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian! It was a hilarious look at a young man’s struggle to fit in places where he couldn’t help but stand out. The cartoons were super unique and made Junior even more lovable. It was an interesting look at not only the inside world of a teenager, but of a true misfit. I will definitely read this book again, and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
This is going to sound odd, but I had a college professor who told my class a spookily similar story about a friend of his. His friend (let’s call him Frank so this is a little less confusing) was an excellent basketball player like Junior. Frank lived on a reservation in Montana and was offered a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at the college where my teacher, Jeff, attended and also played basketball for. Frank and Jeff became pretty good friends, and ended up learning quite a bit about each other. It turns out, Frank’s family and whole reservation ostracized him for leaving. They interpreted his going off to college as meaning that he was ashamed of them and signaled to them that he felt that he could do much better. He tried to visit during Christmas break, but no one would let him into their home. Frank ended up having to call up Jeff and went to his house for the remainder of Christmas break. Frank was so depressed by this that he ended up dropping out of college right after basketball season was over. He lived in a crummy apartment, didn’t work, and became an alcoholic. He was miserable. It took almost a year, but Jeff ended up persuading Frank to re-enroll in college. He lost his basketball scholarship, but he ended up graduating, getting married, raising a family, and was fairly successful in his career. I think it’s nice that Native Americans value family so much, but in the case of Frank and Junior, one of the key roles a family serves is supporting advancement in any way they can. If Junior’s family would have responded like Frank’s, he would have suffered such a grave fate: not reaching his potential.
This book gave insight to another culture and the struggles that some families face. It’s a great eye-opener and I would definitely recommend it!