What Did You Think of…The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

What did youToday we are going to talk about August’s book of the month, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sheman Alexie.  But first, let’s check out this book and see what it is all about.

Synopsis

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.
With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Questions to think about and/or answer:

1. Consider the adjectives, “absolutely true” and “part-time.” What concepts appear to be emphasized by the images and the title? Does the cover appear to reference Junior’s internal struggle, or a struggle between Junior and the white power structure, or both, or neither?

2. By drawing cartoons, Junior feels safe. He draws “because I want to talk to the world. And I want the world to pay attention to me.” How do Junior’s cartoons (for example, “Who my parents would have been if somebody had paid attention to their dreams” and “white/Indian”) show his understanding of the ways that racism has deeply impacted his and his family’s lives?

3. When Junior is in Reardan (the white town), he is “half Indian,” and when he is in Wellpinit (his reservation), he is “half white.” “It was like being Indian was my job,” he says, “but it was only a part-time job. And it didn’t pay well at all.” At Reardan High, why does Junior pretend he has more money than he does, even though he knows “lies have short shelf lives”?

(Questions from Guide – Hachette Book Group)

Reviews

“Alexie nimbly blends sharp wit with unapologetic emotion in his first foray into young adult literature.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“For 15 years now, Sherman Alexie has explored the struggle to survive between the grinding plates of the Indian and white worlds. He’s done it through various characters and genres, but The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian may be his best work yet. Working in the voice of a 14-year-old forces Alexie to strip everything down to action and emotion, so that reading becomes more like listening to your smart, funny best friend recount his day while waiting after school for a ride home.” —Bruce Barcott of The New York Times

Mocha Girls Speak

1220733Mocha Girl Shayla

This is a really bittersweet story about a young Indian boy who changes his life just by deciding to go to school in the all white town and not on the Indian reservation.

Many of the stories are funny and there are cute little cartoons, drawn by the narrator that allow the reader to further understand his feelings. But the novel is also very sad in that it portrays Indian reservations as places where alcohol abuse dominates and hope is practically nonexistent. The status quo is acceptable and those who try to do better for themselves, like the narrator does, can be shunned by the community.

Anyway, on the whole, the book is sweet, sad and funny…like life and would be really good for pre-teens and teens to read.

Mocha Girl Jayla

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-9-18-30-pmThis book has been added to my list of favorites. There are very few books that have made me laugh out loud and this book is one of them. It was a nice balance of humor and serious elements. One thing I did find interesting was that the thought process of Jr. didn’t come off as that of a 14-year-old boy. He seemed much older. Other than that I think that everyone, no matter your age, race, or ethnicity, can benefit from reading this book.For me, at least, it reinforced the idea that I should always stick to who I am in terms of my likes/dislikes and hopes/dreams. The novel was phenomenal and worthy of the National Book Award.

Mocha Girl Charlene

Save

Book Details

693208Age Range: 12 – 17 years

Paperback: 229 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 1, 2009)

ISBN-10: 9780316013697

6387626 52872 52873 13590740 6159 52877

 

October’s Voting is Now Open

vote button

For the month of October, we are going to read a CRIME/MYSTERY book.  As always there are some really great titles up for the vote this time.

Here are the Rules for Voting.

1. You may vote for three (3) books.

2. All members get to vote only once.

3. Last day to vote will be September 18, 2016. (11:00pm Los Angeles time)

4. The book with the most votes wins. But if there is a tie there will be a 48-hour death match. The two or three books will go into a head to head competition for only 48 hours. Whichever book is left standing (with the most votes) wins!

Below the poll, you will find the title of the books linked to more information on Amazon.

Save

Save

Celebrating Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy

mgr book news

Women of Color Win Big at 2016 Hugo Awards

Awarded annually since 1955, the Hugo Awards reward excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. One of the things that makes this particular award so special is that the Hugos are run by and voted on by fans, or more specifically, by members of the current voting year’s World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). This year the science fiction and fantasy fans awarded three of the fifteen possible awards to women of color.

N.K. Jemisin won the award for Best Novel for The Fifth Season. Nnedi Okorafor won Best Novella for her story Binti, and Hao Jinfang won Best Novelette for Folding Beijing. For those curious about the distinction between a novel, novella, and novelette, works in the novel category must contain 40,000 words or more, novellas between 17,500 and 40,000 words, and novelettes between 7,500 and 17,500 words. Short stories are works under 7,500 words.

25667918That an African-American woman, a Nigerian-American woman, and a Chinese woman won three of the top science fiction and fantasy awards is especially spectacular given the controversy over the last few years when various factions tried to argue that the Hugo Awards were unfairly favoring literary work over popular works and works by or about “underrepresented minoriti[es] or victim group[s].”

19161852Interestingly all three books comment and reflect on inequality and class in some way. The Fifth Season is an apocalyptic tale that takes place in a world where apocalypses occur as regularly as the weather patterns and where a caste system divides and scars the people struggling to live in that world. In Binti a woman is the first of her people to be offered a place at a prestigious university. To accept the offer means traveling between the stars and finding a way to survive a war with an alien race. In Folding Beijing a divided Beijing folds like origami revealing inequalities among the three sectors of the city.

For a humorous and honest reflection of what it means to her to win a Hugo, read Jemisin’s post where she describes her Scattered Post-Hugo Thoughts.

For more about the Hugo Awards, Worldcon, and the World Science Fiction Society which sponsors Worldcon, and how the voting process works see here. The full of list of Hugo winners can be found here. Finally, if you’re interested in reading an analysis of this year’s awards and what they mean in light of the controversy surrounding the Hugo Awards over the last few years check out this article from The Verge.

September’s Book of the Month: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Your votes have been counted!
7 days of nominations!
7 days of voting!
We have a winner for our September’s 2016 book of the month.

The Mocha Girl Read Book of the Month for September is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Take a minute to see what this book is all about.

693208Synopsis

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.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

About the Author

12376487_515777865299221_7876310323126831737_nWinner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, a PEN/Hemingway Citation for Best First Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and performer.

He has published 25 books including his first picture book, Thunder Boy Jr, and young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, both from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned, a book of poetry, from Hanging Loose Press; and Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories, from Grove Press.

He has also published the 20th Anniversary edition of his classic book of stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

Smoke Signalsthe movie he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, Alexie grew up in Wellpinit, Washington, on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Alexie has been an urban Indian since 1994 and lives in Seattle with his family.

Author’s Website: http://www.fallsapart.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShermanAlexieAuthor

Buy the Book


Congratulations to Sherman Alexie for being September’s book of the month. Feel free to leave comments below or at Goodreads.com. We are looking forward to hearing what you all think of this month’s selection.

Keep the pages turning ladies.

Nominations for September’s Book of the Month are Open: Banned Book

BBW_Facebook_Banner+2

Mocha Girls Read members it’s that time to pick a new book for the month of September.  The theme for September’s book nominations will be…Banned Book. (A Book that has been or is currently on the banned or challenged book list.)  In support of banned book week, we will be reading a book that  has been banned or challenged.  Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2016 celebration will be held September 25 – October 1. (More about Banned Book Week)

*Note:  If you are nominating a book in a series then only book 1 is allowed.  And all nominations should be published in e-book and physical form.*

Nominations are from 8/8/16 – 8/14/16

For selecting our book of the month Mocha Girls Read uses a democratic system for monthly selections. What do I need to do? In the comments section below, tell us what you want to read next (author and title).  How many books can I nominate? Just pick 1 title off your TBR (to be read) list. Then what? We will put the list of nominations up for everyone to vote on.  Once the voting is over, the winner will be selected as the book for August. What if there is a tie? We will put the two books to a head to head competition. The two books will be re-posted and everyone will be able to vote again but only in a 48 hour window of time. When do the nominations start and end? The nominations start today and will close on August 14, 2016 at 11:00pm.  Voting will start the next day.

Let us know what you want to read next in the comment section below.  If you need some suggestions check out the titles below.  Click the book covers to read a synopsis and the reviews of the books.

The top ten most frequently challenged books of 2015 are:

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

Here is a link to the list of books on the banned or challenged list.

95848623