The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: Book CoverFinished audio 9-30-09, rating 5/5, YA, pub. 2007

This is a first person account of Junior, a 14-year-old on the Spokane reservation.  Born with physical problems that have made him a target of bullies, Junior uses his brain and his best friend, Rowdy, to navigate through school.  When he becomes frustrated with what textbooks are being used and hurls one that hits a teacher, he faces his first school disciplinary problem.  Instead of letting Arnold wallow and fail the teacher convinces him he needs to go off the rez to school, one with rich, white kids where he can learn to make his way in the non-Indian world.

Junior is Arnold at his new school and his acceptance by a popular girl leads Arnold to flourish socially as well as academically.  But he still has to go back to the reservation when the school day is over and the people there resent him for trying to become white.  Arnold must learn the fine balance of living between two worlds.  His parents and grandmother are very supportive, but his best friend Rowdy has disowned him.

I cannot say enough good things about this book or hope to do it any sort of justice, but I’ll just say that I adored it and so did my husband.  It was humorous, irreverent, painful, honest and often laugh-out-loud funny.  This book tackles serious issues like alcoholism and death, but also provides hope for Arnold in the form of old friends and new who see something special in him. 

My husband and I listened to the audiobook read by the author and we both agree that this was part of its appeal for us.  Alexie uses his distinctive voice to breathe life into Arnold and it was perfection.  I understand that there are book versions that have illustrations and I might have to buy one of these for my library.  It’s that good.

Book Giveaway – Travel Writing by Peter Ferry

HB 1Today’s free book is a trade paperback read once.  Published in 2008, 294 pages.  Here’s the synopsis-

Pete Ferry, our narrator, teaches high school English in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Lake Forest and moonlights as a travel writer. On his way home after work one evening he witnesses a car accident that kills a beautiful woman named Lisa Kim. But was it an accident? Could Pete have prevented it? And did it actually happen, or is this just an elaborate tale he concocts to impart the power of story to his teenage students? Why can’t he stop thinking about Lisa Kim? And what might his obsession with her mean to his relationship with his girlfriend, Lydia?

To enter to win leave a comment with your email address. 

To earn one extra entry you can post this on Twitter or post it on your blog.  Leave me a separate comment telling me you did.

Open internationally.  Winner will be picked on October 11th.

My Birthday Giveaways

This month on the 11th I’ll celebrate my birthday with my husband and then about a week later we’ll celebrate our 11th anniversary 🙂  Once a month I offer free books from my shelves and this month I’m doing something a little more fun.  Every day until my birthday I’ll be offering a free book or other freebie.  On the 11th, I’ll draw a winner for each of the days and announce my 11th giveaway.  It’s a surprise, but I think you’ll like it.

Here’s what I’m giving away…HB

You’ll have to come back each day to see what book is up for grabs.  I’ll post the links on this post each day, but you’ll have to go to the individual post to enter to win.  I’ll mail international.

1st – Travel Writing by Peter Ferry

2nd – Tranparency by Frances  Hwang

3rd – Mary Kay Indulge Soothing Eye Gel

4th – Fancy Pants by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

5th – The Fortune Chronicles:Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee

6th – Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

7th – Heaven & Hell:My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) by Don Felder

8th – Bookmark Pens

9th – The Red Siren by M.L. Tyndall

10th – Wifey by Judie Blume