What It Is About: I believe the novel was loosely based on experiences the author had as a child, but the novel is of course fiction. Junior is freshman in high school living on an Indian reservation near Spokane, Washington. He has had some health issues and struggled throughout his life. There comes a point in his life when he knows there is more out there than the reservation can offer him. Junior makes a bold decision to leave his high school and attend the "white" high school twenty miles away. This decision causes friction on the "REZ" and in his new school. Most of this tension is between Junior and his best friend Rowdy. Rowdy can't fathom why he would want to leave his life and go to school with white kids. As Junior gets settled into his new school, goes out for basketball, starts "dating" the popular girl, and becomes friends with the star basketball player; he realizes his two worlds are more different than he could ever imagine.
What I Thought Of It: I ate this book up. I devoured every page. I couldn't get enough of Junior, his family. I learned so much about life on an Indian reservation. This was such an engaging and heart-warming story. I rooted for Junior all the through the story and wanted the best for him. It saddened me to read about the conditions of the reservation and the struggles that "Indians" face on a daily basis. Sherman Alexie brought hope and promise to the life of Junior and all other young people in his same shoes.
Who Should Read It: Everyone should read this novel. It is powerful, real, and thoughtful. Readers that would like to gain more information and insight on life on a reservation should read this book. The story reads as a memoir, and I had to keep reminding myself it was a novel. This novel is written for readers in high-school and adult readers. Happy Reading...
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars