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Shifting gears here a bit and recommending a young adult novel written from the mind of a 14 year old Native American boy. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was fantastic. I loved it. I loved it for its humor and the incredible writing and especially for its lessons on class, race and adolescence that never once seemed preachy or pedantic. I walked away from the book thinking differently about the world.

The main character was engaging, eccentric, and honest and I enjoyed viewing the world through his eyes. He was not perfect, but I liked him, a lot. While the book is fraught with difficult situations and unbelievably sad moments, the feel is light, hopeful and redeeming. 

One warning, because this book is told from the mind of a 14 year old boy, there is some language and subject matter that could be offensive. Read it before your teen does. summary: 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 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 thought he was destined to live.