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)
Realtor in Tallahassee, FL. Huge reader and listener of books.
Its Amazing. The story was beautiful, the reader, everything was just so incredibly Awesomely amazing.
i had the good fortune of listeni g to a talk by the authur this year. that talk and this book gave me a significant paradigm shift about the duality of indian life. gripping, funny and tearful, i will never forget this book.
We chose to listen to this book during a family road trip through Washington and Idaho, which was pretty cool because we drove very near the reservations Alexie describes and seeing the actual landscape gave us a different perspective. We did not read the print version so I understand we missed out on the clever illustrations.
My family enjoyed the book very much. It is definitely a YA novel, but the themes he touches on keep it from being overly simplistic. One word of caution, however. The protaganist is a teenage boy and Alexie decided it was best to tackle the subject of masturbation early in the novel. I had read reviews of the printed book so I was prepared for this and hit the fast forward button (my son, who had already listened to the audiobook, knew it was coming and was relieved we skipped it).
Despite this, I recommend the book as a good family listen. Alexie describes his community and its challenges honestly and without sentimentality. His account of his first trying days at the white people's school rings true, as does the hostility of his old friends who feel betrayed. It is a positive story of rising above and coming together.
Alexie narrates the book himself, and that led me to believe it was an autobiography, which it is not, although he did experience many of the events he describes. His distinctive and deep voice made for an engaging listen.
I couldn't turn this one off. So many things to be gained from this story - the biggest of which being perspective and gratitude, for each of our privileges and each of our chances to bless ourselves.
This is by far my favorite audio book, and I listen to an average of two books per month. The book is surprisingly funny and uplifting.
I experienced a wide range of emotions while listening to the story. I laughed out loud at times, was touched by the sweetness of the main character, and was also very sad at times.
Having grown up nine miles from a reservation, I was moved when the main character described the vast differences between the lives of Native American and white children.
I very much enjoyed the narration, particularly the author's accent. This is one book I'm so glad I listened to instead of read on my Kindle. I think the author's emotion during narration greatly enhanced my experience.
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
Several people have told me that this novel is among their favorite books of all time. I can't quite say that, but this coming of age story about a poor Native American boy is funny and touching in a very unique way.
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