Monday, May 22, 2017

THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie: Week Three Discussion


Welcome to the third week of discussion for THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie!  This week we are chatting about the chapters through, but not including, IN LIKE A LION.  Let's do it!

"You have to dream big to get big."  This is what Arnold's dad told him to encourage him to try out for the basketball team.  What is one thing that your parent(s) said to you to provide you encouragement when you were doubting yourself.

Let's talk about the chapter REINDEER GAMES.  Within this chapter, there were so many little quotes and themes that we can chat about.  We will stick with two . . .

Arnold writes, "I've learned that the worst thing a parent can do is ignore their children."  There was really so much more to the parenting conversation than this comment, but let's stick with this quote for now.  Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  Why or why not?

Family was a huge theme to this chapter.  Family values differ across groups and cultures.  What are one or two values that you hold in regards to family?  How is this important to your own culture?

Let's end with on lighter note.  At the end of this section, Arnold begins sharing lists; writing lists were his way to grieve through his loss.  Choose one of these lists, and share what would be on your own list:  people who have given you the most joy in life, musicians who have given you the most joyous music, favorite foods, favorite books, or favorite basketball players.

Next week, we will be discussing the rest of the book!  Read to the end, and let's chat about our overall thoughts on the book.

Monday, May 15, 2017

THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie: Week Two Discussion


Welcome to the second week of discussion for THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie!  This week we are chatting about the chapters through, but not including, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE.  Let's just dive in!

Throughout this section of the book, we really get to look in on an Indian's point of view because Junior heads to Reardan for school ... the only Indian in the school besides the mascot.  It is here that we get this first exchange between Junior and his dad . . .
"Just remember this," my father said.  "Those white people aren't better than you."
But he was wrong.  And he knew he was wrong.  He was the loser Indian father of a loser Indian son living in a world built for winners.
Shortly after this exchange, Junior shares one of his comics featured in the photo below.


These two items are in the first chapter from our reading for the week and speak so loud to a theme found throughout.  Share your thoughts on these two items, as well as your first reactions to Junior's first exposure to Reardan High School.

Junior meets Gordy, and eventually they become friends.  One of the conversations that helps to cement their relationship is one about books.  Gordy shares with Junior that books give him a boner!
"Well, I don't mean boner in the sexual sense . . . I don't think you should run through life with a real erect penis.  But you should approach each book - you should approach life - with the real possibility that you might get a metaphorical boner at any point."
What was your reaction to this passage?

Lastly, compare and/or contrast the friendship between Junior and Rowdy versus Junior and Gordy.

Next week, we will be discussing through, but not including the chapter, IN LIKE A LION.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexia: Week One Discussion


Welcome to the first week of discussion for THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie!  This week we are chatting about the chapters through, but not including, HOW TO FIGHT MONSTERS.  Let's just dive in!
  1. Have you previously read any work by Sherman Alexie?  If yes, what books have you read?  If no, what do you think about his writing style so far?
  2. Alexie does not beat around the bush in his writing, and is not afraid to tackle some hard topics.  In the first chapters of the book, he addresses race, poverty, and masturbation, to name just a few.  Did any of these (mentioned or not) cause you discomfort while reading?  Let's hear the details, as you feel comfortable sharing.
  3. Hope.  Junior's parents define hope as white.  He believes it to be nothing more than a mythical creature.  How would you define hope?  How has your experiences contribute to this definition?
  4. We end our weekly reading with Junior's best friend, Rowdy, becoming his worst enemy.  How did you respond to these words?  Now, let's consider his illustration that accompanies these words?  How did this addition affect your reaction?

Next week, we will be discussing through, but not including the chapter, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE.  I find the book to be an easy read, so it will be hard to stop reading here!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Introducing THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie

It's May, and what better way to celebrate the beginning of a new month than with the beginning of a new readalong!  Woohoo!!

This month, we will be reading THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie.  Before I get to the schedule, let me share the description of the book courtesy of Goodreads . . .
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

I believe this will be a fairly quick read, but I want us to take it slow and really appreciate the work of Alexie.  Therefore, we will be breaking the book up throughout the entire month.  If you cannot resist and must read on, feel free to do so.  Just be cautious of sharing spoilers within our conversations here on the blog based upon the selected readings.

Now, for the schedule . . . In this book, the chapters are not numbered; therefore, the chapters listed are what we will read TO each week. Once you get to the chapter noted, STOP reading (if you can) and join in the conversation.

May 8: How to Fight Monsters
May 15: Dance, Dance, Dance
May 22: In Like a Lion
May 29: END!

Grab your copy of THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, and come join in the reading fun!