The first tragic incident happens in chapter two, when Junior's dog, Oscar, gets sick. Since there is no money to take him...
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a story filled with tragedy, yet made infinitely readable and enjoyable by the main character's sense of humor.
The first tragic incident happens in chapter two, when Junior's dog, Oscar, gets sick. Since there is no money to take him to a vet, his father takes the dog out back and shoots him.
Secondly, after deciding to transfer from Wellpinit High School to Reardan, a school predominantly for white children, Junior's life-long friend, Rowdy, disowns him.
Thirdly, on his first day at Reardan High, Junior is stared at and called crazy after he punches a white boy, which, while perfectly acceptable on the reservation, is unheard-of behavior in his new environment.
Fourth, upon arriving home from school one day, Junior discovers that his sister, Mary, who had previously been a recluse who seldom came out of the basement, has eloped and left for Montana with her new husband. This throws the family dynamic into upheaval and forms another traumatic incident for Junior.
Fifth, while bunking history class one day, Junior makes the painful discovery that Penelope, one of the closes friends he has made at Reardan and a romantic interest, is bulimic.
Sixth, Junior makes the basketball team at Reardan, and their first match is against Wellpinit High. This in itself is a traumatic experience for Junior, and it was made infinitely worse when his former best friend, Rowdy, knocks him out.
Seventh, a couple of months later, Junior's father's best friend, Eugene, is shot dead in a dispute over a bottle of wine. This takes place in the immediate aftermath of the death of Junior's grandmother, and leaves him questioning a lot about life and death.
Eighth, when the Reardan basketball team has a rematch against Wellpinit, Junior is instrumental in his team's victory. When he looks at the Wellpinit team at the end of the game, however, he feels like a traitor.
Lastly, yet another devastating death hits home for Junior, forming a ninth traumatic event, when his sister Mary dies in a fire in her home in Montana.