My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was easier to read than I thought it would be. By that, I don’t mean the events within, which were hard and difficult to read about, but that this book is more for the younger YA set on reading level.
That doesn’t mean this story is bad by any means.
As a matter of fact, it’s one of the best stories I’ve read in a really long time. It’s told from the point of view of ninth grader, Arnold Spirit…Junior to the folks on the rez. He’s been born with some “issues” and he’s relentlessly bullied among the Native Americans on the rez, but he’s determined and doesn’t let it get to him as much as a “normal” person would. He has it in his head that he will do more than become a cliche Indian when he grows up.
So he leaves his small and VERY POOR reservation school to go to the white school in Reardan, where racism and hate are key words among students, parents, teachers. Except, sometimes, things aren’t all they appear to be.
What Alexie did was made it feel like he was talking about his own life experiences through Arnold (Junior). The trials and reality of growing up poor on a poor reservation. The reality of what goes on in places that so many want to forget or never open their eyes to see it to begin with.
That in itself is so sad. Even sadder were the many events to happen in Junior’s life that ninth grade year. So much to deal with at such a young age. A harsh reality/realizations brought forefront. It’s a story that’s going to stick in my mind for….well, probably the rest of my life…even more since visiting a west coast reservation earlier this summer.
It was a fantastic story. I recommend that everyone give it a read at least once.
*A BACK TO SCHOOL READ – SEPTEMBER 2016* Total winner! Bravo, Sherman Alexie.