Monday, March 14, 2016

Day 14: SOL#16- It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by the inspirational writers of Two Writing Teachers. Each March, they invite people to join them in a commitment to write every day. Today, I am doubling up on my slices with my Monday reading. 

Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What are You Reading? weekly on their blogs.  To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie has been on my TBR list for a long time--years actually. My mentor in my creative writing program suggested it as a book to study setting and character development, so I picked it up last week. What an amazing book on so many levels! Let me start by saying that I wouldn't recommend it for students below sixth grade. Amazon targets grades 7-12. There are many violent bullying scenes, upsetting alcohol-related scenes, and extremely sad and tragic events. It is the first person narrative of a 14 year-old Spokane Indian who is bullied on the reservation and leaves to attend a mostly white high school. His decision to leave the reservation school leads to even more bullying as there is so much pressure to stay and not abandon the tribal nation and the cultural ties. What I admire about Sherman Alexie's writing is how he keeps a fast moving plot going, but weaves in important messages about writing, reading, life, and many, many social issues. Honestly, whatever social issue you can imagine, I think it's touched on in this book. Racism, social class, bullying, learning disabilities, alcoholism, sibling relationships, eating disorders, popularity, athlete/non-athlete tensions, college aspirations, death, parental struggles, poverty--all there, but none of them feel overdone. It just feels real. 

Happy reading, and happy slicing,


  1. It is a "must-read" book, especially for those who teach adolescents, to see the strengths possible, and how others overcome the challenges, too. FYI-Melanie. Your link on the IMWAYR meme leads to Amazon instead of your post.

  2. Thanks for telling me! I changed it!

  3. Such a powerful book, yet still very approachable for young readers. Sad to think that life can be so hard for young people, but at least their stories are being told.