The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
New York Times Bestseller
Arnold Spirit Jr. (“Junior”) tells about his early life on the Spokane Indian reservation. How doctors predicted he would die from complications of hydrocephalus—his being born with excess spinal fluid on the brain. But, of course, Junior survived. The early condition, however, left Junior with a lisp and stutter. He had too many teeth and had to have some removed, and he is far-sighted in one eye and near-sighted in the other. Worst of all, as a small child he had seizures. Even today, other Indians on the reservation or, as Junior calls it, the “rez,” bully him and call him names like “hydrohead.” Junior’s best friend, Rowdy, often promises to protect him, but Rowdy’s own violent tendencies sometimes prevent him from being all that helpful. Junior’s parents are alcoholics and his sister, Mary, spends all her time in the family basement. Junior loves drawing cartoons, and many of his drawings are included in the book. Rowdy is extremely supportive of Junior’s art, and Junior thinks this proves his and Rowdy’s friendship.