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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Civil Rights Book Club: “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”

October 1, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

In the award-winning young adult novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," Sherman Alexie creates a vivid and heartfelt account of the life of Junior, a young Native American living on a reservation. Through Junior's humorous diary entries and cartoons, Alexie fuses words and images to depict the difficult journey many Native Americans face.

Heavily based on Alexie's personal experiences, this fictional story depicts struggles, injustices and the long-lasting effects of historical oppression toward Native Americans. Although Junior is a young adult, he must face the reality of living in utter poverty, contend with the discrimination of those outside of the reservation, cope with a community and a family ravaged and often killed by alcoholism, break cultural barriers at an all-White high school, and maintain the perseverance needed to hope and work for a better future.

While Alexie depicts a desolate picture of life on a reservation, he also creates a beautiful story that allows one to examine the changes it takes to remedy an unjust social system. Ultimately, one leaves the book with a message of hope and a new call to activism.

The Civil Rights Book Club seeks to provide context and provoke discussion about today's top social justice concerns. Each week, we profile a book, a movie, or other media that represent the diversity of the contemporary social justice movement. You can help support The Leadership Conference by purchasing Book Club selections through the Amazon.com link on our website.

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