What happens from pages 54-84 in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pages 54-84 of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian chronicle Junior's first few days at his new school, Reardan High School. When he enters the school for the first time, everyone stares at him, students and teachers. He describes the students as more than "just white. They were translucent" (56). The first person he speaks to in his new class is Penelope, who is beautiful and blonde and laughs at him when he tells her his name is Junior.

At lunchtime on his first day, one of the biggest boys in the school, Roger, approaches him with a group of his friends and says "the most racist thing" Junior has ever heard in his life (64). Junior punches him in the face, and the boys walk away.

Junior seeks his grandmother's advice about the incident, as it is strange to him that the boy didn't fight back. His grandmother tells Junior that he picked a fight with the "alpha male" of the school and now the boys will respect him (68).

The next day, Junior's parents do not have enough money for gas, so Junior gets a ride to school on the back of a motorcycle, driven by his father's best friend. When he arrives, Roger compliments the motorcycle and is friendly to Junior. Junior realizes his grandmother was right.

On Halloween, Junior and Penelope both wear homeless people costumes to school. Penelope explains that she is protesting homelessness and plans to collect money while trick-or-treating. Junior says he will do the same thing, and he does. On his way home, however, some boys on the reservation beat him up and steal his money and candy. He returns to school the next day and explains this to Penelope, who expresses kindness and pity. Junior realizes that this does not mean she is in love with him as he is with her, but he is also aware that she is no longer making fun of him.

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