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)
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.
Such a real story and read so well by the author. Loved it. Not suitable for kids in my opinion- too much violence-though Arnold Spirit is an inspiring character.
I did not have high expectations for this book, but thought it might be interesting. But, I was drawn in to the story so quickly I was amazed and surprised. When I had to stop listening I could not wait to get back to it. The main character Arnold's epiphanies and life's lessons learned both amazed and delighted me and I took them to heart personally. Who knew an older white lady could be so moved by a tale of two adolescent Indian boys ???! A modern Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
The story is honest and intimate about life and emotions of the teenager. It has a lot of life lessons. It contains both fun and grief. You feel like you are having a conversation with the writer. Overall it was an unexpected and good listening in the public transport of Istanbul city. Thank you Sherman Alexie.
What an amazing book! I grew up in a town half on the Rez, so I thought I knew a little bit about the Native plight. But this story threw in a first hand perspective that no text book, or even 2nd hand observation, can possibly deliver. If we ALL read this book, we would gain more compassion for the individual Native struggle as well as the possibility of eliminating the not so "nomadic" mentality that seems to keep Natives on the Rez. I was enlightened, to say the least. I really wish my entire school could have read this book.
Aside from the educational benefits of this book, the storytelling was phenomenal! I am SO glad I LISTENED to it! Sherman Alexie's perfectly Native sing-song voice added an extra emotion and depth that you can't get from reading! This story was meant to be listened to; in light of Native stories being mostly of oral origins Alexie's ancestors would be impressed and proud of his amazing skill as a storyteller! He nailed this one!!!
The character development was deep, the humor was spectacular, and the tragedy was very real. I can't say enough great things about this book. I hope people who might be hesitating to buy this audiobook just go ahead and get it...they absolutely won't be disappointed!
As for the topic of masturbation: well, I guess we have to talk about it with our kids at some point. I certainly wouldn't let it stop me from getting this book and sharing it with my kids. They deserve to get a REAL human story on this subject. Finally.
“I discovered books and read forever,” - John Adams
Loved having the story read by the author. Good peak into the younger generation's life on the red.
Smart, funny & poignant - Alexie's story style is so accessible & uncomplicated - and yet so profound.
I laughed & cried with the characters. I didn't want the story to end.
What an amazing window into what it means to live in poverty on a native reserve, surrounded by all the dysfunction of alcoholism and physical abuse, & yet the story is full of hope & reminds us that our attitudes real do shape the world we live in.
I know this is a story that will find its way to the surface of my thoughts for a long time. The author and narrator wove a story that was and tender, touching and tough.
I found myself laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time. A heart-wrenchingly sad book with so much humor! I especially enjoyed the narration. It isn't often you find an author who can narrate as well. He did both superbly. Highly recommended
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