My students need 42 copies of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie.
"We're still around, you know," is what one of my students told another during a classroom discussion concerning Native Americans. All too often, our treatment of Native American perspectives in history give no hint of the contemporary issues people of indigenous backgrounds may face. This can unfortunately lead some to assume native history is just that; simply history with no context in the modern world.
I teach Global and 20th Century history courses in a high-needs community in Oregon. The economic outlook has not only challenged our local community, but has produced budget constraints on the school district that make purchasing new materials impossible.
I have long been looking for a book to read with students in my 20th Century History class. However, many of the books I came across were either too long, too deep, or simply wouldn't hold my student's attention in a way that would inspire them to read more. While I have read it before and Sherman Alexie happens to be one of my favorite authors, I am amazed his book, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" didn't occur to me sooner. The book tells the story of young Arnold, a Spokane Indian, who decides to attend the more affluent white school in a nearby town rather than the tribal school. What ensues is an inspiring tale of a young man challenging the boundaries of two cultures. Alexie's prose in this young adult fiction is simple, but powerful, often humorous, and at the very same time, heartbreaking.
Your donation will help ensure my students have the opportunity to enjoy such a fantastic piece of modern literature. Not only will they be inspired to read more, but this book also provides a solid, contemporary context for students to connect to Native American history and perspectives. Lastly, in a broader sense, this book invites the reader to find hope in what seems like a hopeless situation, and to ultimately make a better world for themselves. This is a message, I believe, the students in our poverty-stricken community desperately need to hear.
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|The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie, Ellen Forney (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$8.09||42||$339.78|
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