illustration of main character, Junior, holding a basketball and looking over his shoulder

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

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Why does Junior cry when Mr. P says he deserves better in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

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In the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, when Mr. P said that Junior deserved better, Junior started to cry.

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Sherman Alexie's very popular work of juvenile literature entitled The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indianhas become extremely controversial. Due to some of the subject matter and language, many schools will not allow this book to be taught or stocked in their libraries. The protagonist and narrator of the novel, Junior, is an inspiring character who faces and overcomes many obstacles in his life. In the beginning of the novel he is living on the Spokane Indian reservation and, although he has great potential, he is losing hope fast. Mr. P is Junior's geometry teacher at the Spokane Indian Reservation High School. Arnold is suspended for throwing his book at Mr. P because he got so angry upon seeing his mother's name in it, indicating its age. Mr. P visits him and encourages him to "leave this reservation". He talks to Junior about the dreams his sister once had of writing "Romance novels". He does not want Junior to lose hope and give up on his dreams too. Junior cries for many reasons. He is overwhelmed with emotion and sees what he has to do, but also sees how hard it will be. He must leave, which is never easy. He has also seen the reality of what his current situation holds for him.

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