Short Story/ The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

KeskusteluEDE3343 Teaching Adol Lit MS Sp 2012

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Short Story/ The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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tammikuu 30, 2012, 10:25pm

Name: Debora Brown Date: 1-30-12

Title: “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”
Author: Sherman Alexie
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 12, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316013684
Pages: 240

In the short story, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” Junior is born with water on the brain, and everyone expects him to die as an infant. Unfortunately, he lives and he becomes a writer. He leaves the reservation school after he has a book with his mother’s name in it. The young man is fourteen years old at the time, and the reservation is in Spokane, Washington.

The fourteen year old student decides to leave the reservation and go to another school. Junior was often the target for bullies. He loved to draw different pictures. How do you think an Indian boy will survive a new school? Even though he is bullied and lacked friendship with some of the students, he began to try to fit in a new community.

In my opinion, this short story is an excellent story to read for young readers. This book is interesting because it can connect with the young readers. This short story is a great way to entertain the young readers. Since some students are bullied or not accepted in the world of others, but they can relate how they might feel when something bad happens to them. The readers will be able to laugh with Junior and not at him. This book should be used to help others se e how bullying hurts.
One issue this short story raise is that his illness does not stop him from accomplishing his own needs. He feels that his life at school on the reservation is so far behind the other schools. He wants to better his education and face the challenges in life as well. I agree that he should seek other means to improve his education, but I did not agree for him to leave the reservation school. Another issue that the author raised is that they must learn to survive in a cruel society. To some extent, I agree that the teenagers must survive in their own society because there are two teenagers who are as different as day and night. Rowdy is a teenager who has a difficult life. Rowdy bit his mother’s breast when she tried to breast feed him as a baby. Rowdy also have a bad temper, too. Yet, Rowdy presents this mean tough kid side, but he has a gentle side to him as well. He likes the old comic books. The books he likes are Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, and Archie. The friend who is telling the story was born with cerebral spinal fluid inside his skull. Because of this defect, he was often teased and bullied by other people. As a matter of fact, he did not want to go to the powwow because he feared that he would be beaten up. The friend was beaten up when they went to the powwow. He was beaten up by a set of thirty years old triplets, the Andruss brothers. Rowdy has his way with them by cutting off their braids and their eyebrows. The friend had a stuttering and lisp problem, and he described himself as having lopsided eyes. He said the brain damage made one eye nearsighted and the other one was farsighted. He describes himself as thin, but he has huge feet and hands. The friend thinks he looks like the letter L when he turns sideways. He has so many obstacles in his way because everyone calls him retarded. Not only that, but poverty hunts them down. He loves his dog, Oscar. It seems that his world comes to an end because his dad had to kill his dog. This book can be related to the book “Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry”, by Mildred Taylor. The Logan children had to suffer cruelty at the hands of other children and adults. Even though the reservation in Spokane was there for Junior, but the Logan family truly suffered many discomforts in their life. I agree that both books seem to capture the young readers’ attention, but teenagers must understand the times these stories occurred. This book can be related to larger issues like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” The young man, Heffley, is also at the end of pranks and different students at his school. He is being bullied by others.

Teaching Ideas/connections:
•Peer Pressure-The book, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” The students can understand how it feels to be on the other end of poking fun. The students can determine by role playing that it is not fun.
•Bullying- Since bullying is taken serious, the short story will be an answer to help students to understand that bullying hurts others. The students would learn that they can change their way of life.
•Text-to-self - The students can learn that this text can really help students to make better decisions about how they treat others. This short story could be used to have the students to brainstorm about solutions to solving problems of bullying. The teacher could allow the students to read different books to make a connection too.

This short story is an excellent book for the students to read to understand how we treat others really matters. When I read the short story, I felt the pain that Junior and Rowdy were going through. They were facing rejection from their own people and the community of Reardan. I also see the issue of being discriminated against because of a disability. Instead of being accepted in their communities they are totally rejected. My main point about this book was that it was humorous, but sad too. Teenagers should be enjoying their lives, but instead they are faced with problems of rejection. One persuasive point I want to make is the language may offend some parents or students when they read the book.