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)
This book was engaging and funny. I enjoyed the author's narration. It made the production seem more authentic. The material was crass at times, and was definitely geared toward a teen audience, but I enjoyed it as a glimpse into American Indian culture written by an American Indian. Overall, I recommend with reservations.
I have long been a Sherman Alexi fan, but have never heard his voice or heard any of his stories read aloud (saw Smoke Signals numerous times though, which is different.) The story itself is a typical Sherman Alexi story, excellent and true and honest. Sherman Alexi's voice lends a new layer of excellence to what would already have been a great read. The book, and his voice, ended too soon.
I was hooked within the first 5 minutes. Such a great narration of his true life story. Alexie opens one's eyes into the real world and life of a Native American.
Having worked for the Indian Health Service for several years, I always struggled to distill down the experience of life on the Rez when speaking with outsiders, always anxious to avoid reinforcing harmful stereotypes while also providing an accurate account of some of the more challenging parts of life. Sherman Alexie does with profound poignancy and efficiency in this impressive work. This story is but one piece of the reservation story, but it's an important one. What's more narration of this audiobook is a work of art unto itself.
Starlight Thunderbolts Rainstorms Blissful Exhilaration Ocean Swimming Painting with my Hands on Wood. Life Is Worth it.
Well formed story of hardship, perseverance, bravery and a touch of coming of age. Nicely formed characters and interesting, well woven events told with masterful narration. Even humorous at times. Well done.
I was drawn to choose this title, as I have some experience working on a rez. There were many parts of the story that resonated with me. The story really engaged me and the characters were so real. I had read it was semi-autobiographical and would lows to know which parts were true.
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