National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 2007Sherman Alexie delivers a captivating, semi-autobiographical account of one Spokane Indian's struggle against incredible obstacles.
Born poor and hydrocephalic, Arnold Spirit survives brain surgery. But his enormous skull, lopsided eyes, profound stuttering, and frequent seizures target him for abuse on his Indian reservation. Protected by a formidable friend, the book-loving artist survives childhood. And then - convinced his future lies off the rez - the bright 14-year-old enrolls in an all-white high school 22 miles away.
©2007 Sherman Alexie; (P)2008 Recorded Books
"Delivers a positive message." (School Library Journal)
Sherman Alexie narrates his own audiobook which makes the delivery of every humorous and poignant scene all the more touching. Wonderful laugh out loud moments juxtaposed with heart-wrenching, unflinching, tragic events.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Alexie immediately grabs you with this story of Spokane tribal member and high school student Arnold Spirit, aka, Junior. Written in the first person, it is believable from the beginning and you think that Alexie is telling his own story.
Taking place mostly over Junior's freshman year, this book is a coming of age story as Junior learns more about himself and the world around him. There are thought provoking subtexts of the nature of friendships, redemption, and choice.
Some may be put off to the multiple references to masturbation, but this is a story about a 14 year old boy. With that warning, I think this book could, and maybe even should, be read by all 13+ year olds.
The fourteen-year-old narrator, Jr./Arnold walks the line of identifying with and loving his culture while seeing its limits. Most listeners will feel the pain of separation and the joy of liberation in this coming of age tale.
This was one of the best books I ever read/listened to. It was truly wonderful.
Great read for the money - got it for $1/hr. It was fun and short, and well told. It's about relationships, family, culture clash, alternative perspectives, inclusion and exclusion, love of ethnic background with all it's positives and negatives, yet reaching out to explore life's alternative paths. It's about courage, persistence, and life's struggles. Recommended for men and women. The narration (as well as the prose) gave it authenticity.
I would listen again to this story, because as with War Dances by Alexie, the stories are filled with great characters. Even though you know what will happen your imagination gets to enjoy the trip again.
Huckleberry Finn is comparable because of the American culture's impact on a boy's life who is trying to understand the world he was placed in.Both are funny, sad, insightful, and sensitive.
Sherman's voice helps emphasize the emotions of the characters.
Many of the scenes have great visions, but particularly moving when he lost his sister.
Looking forward to more great writing from Sherman. THANK YOU!
This was an interesting book and I liked the author's performance. It helped that the narrator had an authentic accent. The story was interesting, funny, sad, eye-opening, and left me fulfilled as a listener, but also pondering. I recommend it.
A university professor recommended this book to me, and I ordered it right away and loved it! Had to own the audio book since it was read by the author. I'll admit it took me a little while to get used to his voice/reading style, but that's not uncomon for me and I had already read it once and the voice "in my head" was a little different. Either way - don't listen to this on the bus, as people will stare at you when you burst out laughing every couple of minutes. The themes are sometimes sad and serious, but humor can be a useful tool when dealing with them, and Sherman Alexie sure knows how to do that.
first book i listened in a long time that made me laugh out laugh outloud. very witty, smart, honest and endearing. a great insight into how a reservation indian lives, along with their thoughts and relations to whites. i think everyone should read it.
I laughed then I cried and sometime I did both simultaneously. A story of triumph that shows how where we are from can be a blessing and a curse, but it is what we are. I was sorry when this story ended.
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