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The main character is also the narrator of the story, Arnold "Junior" Spirit. He is a full-blooded native american living on an Indian reservation near Spokane Washington. Much of Junior's life is focused on the difficulties he faces at home with an often drunk alcoholic father and an utter lack of resources.
His best friend Rowdy is also an Indian from the same reservation and they grow up playing basketball and doing most everything together. Rowdy protected Junior until Junior went to a different school at which point they became enemies.
Eugene, who acted like an uncle or advisor to Junior and his grandmother who was famous for being a pow wow dancer were also prominent characters.
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