We have reached the day – it’s time to discuss The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. There have been many positive, and introspective reviews of the book both since our announcement of its choice for this book club, and over the years of Cannonball Read’s existence. So, let’s dig in and talk about the why’s and how’s with this book, and some larger thematic conversations as well.
Let’s start with a few ground rules:
- Since we’re anticipating lots of conversation, please try your best to reply directly to each other, that way they are alerted and can keep discussing!
- Discussing is the important word. Let’s have a conversation so try to keep the thoughts flowing and give your fellow readers something to respond to.
- Please reference the topic number you are responding to (if you are) so other Book Clubbers can hunt up the topics they want to discuss with you.
- Not that I’m expecting to need to, but be warned that I retain the right to delete any comments which go beyond the normal civil banter we have here at Cannonball Read. Consider yourselves warned J
There are also some additional topics that we’ll be putting up over at our Facebook Group, Cannonball Read Book Chat, throughout the course of the afternoon if you feel like chatting there as well. The guidelines above are in effect there as well.
Here are our topics to begin our conversation:
- Visuals appear frequently in this work, from its cover design to the art by Ellen Forney. What is their impact on your understanding of the dichotomy of Junior?
- Addiction and poverty. They are likely expected themes in a book about modern life on a reservation. How do you think they were handled, how did they affect you while reading?
- This book is a Banned Book list perennial entry and a National Book Award Winner. Do you think the same aspects of the book cause it to be on both lists?
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is designated as YA. What is your definition of YA, and how does this novel fit into it?
- Language – Junior speaks the way 14-year-old boys speak. How do you think this impacts the reader’s appreciation of the character? Does it matter what age the reader is?
- Cultural markers – we all learn our cultures through experience. Like Junior, we know the rules. What “rules” in your own experience have been challenged, like Junior’s?