The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Episode 1

Episode 1 December 01, 2023 01:02:54
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Episode 1
Book Interrupted
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Episode 1

Dec 01 2023 | 01:02:54


Show Notes

In this episode Sarah, Meredith, Kim, and Ashley discuss their first impressions of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part time Indian by Sherman Alexis. As usual, the conversation veers off topic as the girls joke about murder mystery memoirs and traveling with cats. Other topics discussed include implicit bias, oppression, colonialism, racism, and micro aggressions. 

This book is critically acclaimed and has appeared on the annual list of frequently challenged books since 2008. It became the most frequently challenged book from 2010 – 2019. Most of the controversy is based in how the book describes alcoholism, poverty, bullying, violence, and sexuality.  

Discussion Points: 

 Mentioned on this episode of Book Interrupted: 

Book Interrupted

Book Interrupted YouTube Channel

Book Interrupted Facebook Book Club Group

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Would you like to attach a face to that voice? When you subscribe to the Book Interrupted YouTube channel, you get to see everybody as well as check out a bunch of extra Book Interrupted videos and music content. Visit the Book Interrupted YouTube channel to see what you've been missing. [00:00:15] Speaker B: Parental guidance is recommended because this episode has mature topics and strong language. Here are some moments you can look forward to during this episode. Code of Book Interrupted so you should. [00:00:27] Speaker C: Just go on a killing spree? [00:00:28] Speaker D: Actually, no. That would make such a better story. [00:00:33] Speaker E: Is the result of intergenerational years of trauma and there still is love. [00:00:39] Speaker D: Do you really just want them to go on YouTube and figure it out, or do you want them to get a sex ed? And like this is pretty innocence, but. [00:00:46] Speaker B: Let'S pull ten teeth on the same day. [00:00:49] Speaker C: Shows that colonial system that it's trying to keep and trap indigenous people on. [00:00:55] Speaker E: Reserves, they said absolutely True Diary ban it. [00:00:58] Speaker A: We can't have people knowing of an Indian. [00:01:01] Speaker E: No. Yeah, we don't want to hear it. My body. [00:01:07] Speaker D: Information is the goal. Trying to learn something new without being my body is information is trying to. [00:01:22] Speaker E: Learn something without being disrupted. [00:01:28] Speaker D: Mind, body and soul inspiration is without and we're gonna talk it out on Book Interrupted. [00:01:39] Speaker B: Welcome to Book Interrupted, a book club for busy people to connect and one that celebrates life's interruptions. During this band book cycle, we're reading the Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexey. If you'd like to join along, this book cycle is from October 1 to January 1. [00:01:59] Speaker A: Although critically acclaimed, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexei has also been the subject of controversy and has consistently appeared on the annual list of frequently challenged books since 2008. And it became the most frequently challenged book from 2010 to 2019. As a result, a small collective of schools have challenged it, and some schools have blocked the book from distribution in school libraries or inclusion in the curricula. For example, one school in 2011 had a 9th grade language arts teacher pilot the diary in his curriculum and with the help of his students, reported to the school's board on the inclusion of the book in a high school curriculum. Parents of students in the class were notified ahead of time that the teacher was interested in the book, and as a result, parents were able to opt their student out of reading the novel if they so chose. In June, the school board voted three two to remove the book from the school entirely. Board members had not read the book, but cited the split Instructional Materials Committee vote as the reason to ban the novel. The board members later learned that some members of the instructional materials committee had not read the book, and so the board members agreed to vote again, but read it for themselves before the vote. On July 11, 2011, the school board voted four to one to reverse its earlier decision. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian was the most challenged book in the United States from 2010 to 2019 and was named one of the top ten most challenged books in 20 10, 20, 11, 20, 12, 20, 13, 20, 14, 20, 17, 20, 18, 20 00 and 22,022. The book has been challenged for the following reasons acknowledging poverty, alcoholism and sexuality allegations of sexual misconduct by the author offensive language profanity cultural insensitivity it was deemed antifamily depictions of bullying, gambling, racism references to drug, alcohol and smoking religious viewpoint or anti Christian content sex education sexual references unsuited for age group and violence. Author Alexei has defended the novel by emphasizing the positive learning opportunities readers gain from exposure to these harsh aspects of contemporary life. He describes his own experience of adults trying to hide and protect him from suffering and hardship all during my childhood would be saviors tried to rescue my fellow tribal members. They wanted to rescue me, but even then I could only laugh at their platitudes. In those days, the cultural conservatives thought that Kiss and Black Sabbath were going to impede my moral development. They wanted to protect me from sex when I had already been raped. They wanted to protect me from evil, even though a future serial killer had already abused me. They wanted me to profess my love for God without considering that I was the child and grandchild of men and women who'd been sexually and physically abused by generations of clergy. Alexei said that students were also able to connect his story to their own difficult experiences with depression, attempted suicide, gang warfare, sexual and physical abuse, absentee parents, poverty, racism and learning disabilities. He noted I have yet to receive a letter from a child somehow debilitated by the domestic violence, drug abuse, racism, poverty, sexuality and murder contained in my book. To the contrary, kids as young as ten have sent me autobiographical letters written in crayon, complete with drawings inspired by my book that are just as dark, terrifying, and redemptive as anything I've ever seen. The book has been credited with addressing the experiences and issues faced by Native American students in the public school system. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian has been at the center of many controversies due to the book's themes and content, as well as its target audience of young adults, the book has both fervent supporters and concerned protesters. Some people thought it was the greatest book ever, and some people thought it was the most perverted book they'd ever read. [00:06:01] Speaker B: This interruption is brought to you by unpublished do you want to know more about the members in Book Interrupted? Go behind the scenes. Visit our [email protected]. Book Interrupted this interruption is brought to you by my stolen laptop. So you might be wondering why we didn't have an episode and if you didn't listen to our episode interruption that Kara did for us, you wouldn't know that the reason we didn't have an episode last month is because just before I was finishing editing that episode and putting it out, my laptop was stolen. And it turns out a bunch of the stuff I couldn't recover. Some things I could, some things I couldn't. [00:06:51] Speaker D: So I couldn't recover my work, but. [00:06:53] Speaker B: I could recover most of the raw files, so I had to start again. And you'll notice in this episode that there is no personal journal for me or Kim, because that was not recoverable. But everything else seemed to be okay. Just bear with us. Some of the episode might be a little bit more choppy than normal, but I think, all in all, we did okay. So my laptop wasn't recovered. It's gone for good, I think. Luckily, I have a desktop. It's a bit clunky, but thankfully Apple helped me with that too. So now all of my things sync to the cloud so I won't lose things in the future. And my desktop is working better than ever, so not so bad after all. So I hope you enjoyed this episode. And, yeah, that was a real interruption. Book Interrupted. All right, so it's personal journal time. Let's see what the members of Book Interrupted thought outside the group. [00:07:55] Speaker C: Hey, everyone. This is Ashley. And this is my first personal journal for the absolutely true diary of a part time Indian. And I'm very excited to finish reading the book. The first few chapters, I felt, were kind of sad because I feel it was really showcasing the racism and the difference of an inequality. And it made me sad reading that, knowing that so many indigenous people have experienced relatively the same thing. But I do like there are some really funny parts in it. I like the way the author talks. I feel like it's authentic to indigenous people, in my opinion. Just kind of what I've experienced myself. Just some of the jokes, too, I feel are very, on par, a funny story, though. I do just want to put this in. I was listening to the audiobook of this version. Apparently, the actual book version has some pictures in it, which is cool. I want to pick up the actual book so I can look at the pictures as well while we're recording this. On the Sunday the night before was one of my good friends weddings. In between the reception and the ceremony, I was trying to read more of the book just so I could give more of an opinion. It's been a crazy few days. The book is like it's an easy read. It's keeping my interest, and it is a book that I wouldn't have personally read myself, which is one of the reasons I really enjoy doing the book club. Yeah. So I think it's good. I'm excited to hear what the other girls have to say. I'm going to go to the library and pick up an actual copy of the book because I want to see what the pictures look like. Yeah, I can't wait to finish it. So far, it's pretty good. As of right now, I would recommend it to people. Just hearing that again, there are those pictures. I would recommend the actual book versus the audiobook. So far, I'm liking the audiobook. The voice, the person narrating it. Their voice is quite nice. And I know sometimes with audiobooks we can have like, whiny voices or something we don't really like. So I'm really vibing with that. I think the book is good. I think it's an awesome book to have open discussions with. So I can't wait to find out why this book is banned. Kind of all the racism behind that and how it's still showcasing in our day to day lives. So I hope everyone can grab a copy of the book and read along with us because it's a good read. Thank you. [00:10:32] Speaker D: So we're reading the last book of season three and it's the Absolutely True Diary of Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexei. I believe I got that right. I already took the book back to the library so I could check it on our website, but I'm pretty sure that's right, so I'm not going to. And if I'm wrong, well, I'm sure you'll find out sometime in the rest of this episode. This essentially is a coming of age story, and I've read a lot of coming of age stories, especially in high school. This is why this book is banned, because it's for an audience that's in high school. That's who's going to most relate to it. Because the main character is a teenager and he's trying to find out who he is and how he fits and how his dreams fit into his reality and how he can accomplish his dreams. Does he have to go away from the comfort of everything he's known and the friends that he's closest to and feel safest with to achieve those dreams? And what will that mean to his relationships and how people view him? And will he really belong if he leaves the reserve? Will he belong in that world? Will he belong in the world that he's currently in? Or will he kind of be an outsider in both worlds? I think a lot of high school students are, as part of their curriculum, are required to read some kind of coming of age story. And this has got the twist in it where it's from a different perspective than ones that I would have read in high school because I was in high school years ago, 20 years, no more 25 years ago. I graduated 24 years ago. Oh, my gosh. That seems like an age ago. But still, even though it was so long ago, because every teenager goes through that identity cris, maybe, or trying to figure out where they fit in the world where their loyalties lie. How can they be true to themselves and still build these strong relationships with other people that they need? I think we all kind of go through that. So in that way, even if you're reading this book as an adult, it's relatable. You can kind of really get an idea of where the kid's coming from. The drawings really add a good dimension to it. I guess the point is, any coming of age story that's really true to all the stuff that kids are going through during puberty is a candidate to get banned because this one got banned because of sexually explicit content. I guess maybe because of the talk of masturbation. But if you have a coming of age story that doesn't mention masturbation, maybe it's not being completely honest or at least some sexual dimension. But that's not what this book is about. It's just a part of it. The book is really about an inner conflict. How can he achieve his dreams and still be who he is and be the future him that he wants to be? To he's torn between two worlds and two times. His past self, his future self, his growing up on the reserve, and him wanting to go out into the world and achieve his dreams. That's about it. I really liked it so far, say so far I read the whole book. But I'm not going to talk about the end until the next time we talk. So go out and get the book. I found it at my local library, so maybe you can, too. Otherwise you can just learn about it by listening to us. [00:13:50] Speaker C: Okay, bye. [00:13:51] Speaker B: Let's listen in to this episode's. Group discussion. [00:13:55] Speaker E: Here we are for the final conversation. That's right. [00:13:59] Speaker D: Right. [00:14:00] Speaker E: Or the first conversation. No, first conversation. [00:14:02] Speaker C: It's the first. [00:14:04] Speaker D: Now I know that Kim read the book already. [00:14:07] Speaker E: Oh my God. This is the first conversation. This is bad. Anyway, here we are. I obviously thought we were somewhere else already once, but we weren't. So here we are for the very first time ever to discuss the Absolutely True Diary of a Part time Indian. By who? I don't remember. [00:14:24] Speaker B: Sherman Alexey. [00:14:26] Speaker E: Sherman alexey. [00:14:28] Speaker D: Alexey. Good name. [00:14:30] Speaker E: I agree. I like the Alexey rolls off the tongue. [00:14:34] Speaker D: I feel like this is another example of I thought this book was a memoir. [00:14:38] Speaker E: It's kind of a memoir, though the author did base it on his experiences, right? Even though it's not literally. This is what happened to me specifically, I'm admitting. [00:14:50] Speaker D: Right. That's why it's interesting, because the title. [00:14:52] Speaker E: Is The Absolutely True, and you're like. [00:14:55] Speaker D: Well, but it's full of truths, so I guess that's the point. [00:15:00] Speaker C: It's full of their truths. I also thought it was a memoir. The first couple of chapters I was reading, as I was reading more, I was like, Is it? I can't super tell. But yeah, the first part like, just kind of that backstory of him explaining his life growing up and stuff. Yeah. I was like, oh, cool, we're reading this person's whole life. But it kind of changed a bit later. [00:15:22] Speaker B: Yeah, I thought it was a memoir too. And I even went to the back. [00:15:25] Speaker D: To read about him and I was like, oh, maybe not. [00:15:28] Speaker B: Junior is not like, it's not him. [00:15:31] Speaker D: Because I was trying to look because. [00:15:32] Speaker B: You know how he says he has one eye is short sighted and one's near sighted? [00:15:37] Speaker C: Yes. [00:15:38] Speaker D: Right. [00:15:38] Speaker B: So I was like trying to look at his picture of the author and I was like, laser eye surgery or something. I thought it was a memoir too. And then I realized I was like, remember when it says a novel by a novel means it's not a memoir? So don't make that mistake like you. [00:15:56] Speaker E: Did with oh, no, but listen. Okay, so I'm on his Wikipedia page. So he was born with hydrocephalus, okay. For the fluid in the brain situation. [00:16:06] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:16:07] Speaker E: He had to have brain surgery six months old. [00:16:10] Speaker C: Oh, wow. [00:16:11] Speaker D: So scary. [00:16:12] Speaker E: His parents were alcoholics, so his mother achieved sobriety. Sorry. I'm just like reading and reporting things at the same time. [00:16:21] Speaker D: We're trying to be good listeners. [00:16:23] Speaker E: I know he excelled academically reading everything available, including auto repair manuals. So there's a little sample of how his story and his life overlap. [00:16:36] Speaker D: It's interesting. I like it. I think writing a biography sometimes would be tough or a memoir because there's other people that might not want to. [00:16:44] Speaker C: Be written about or just even the experiences they may have had could be so different for the other people say they ended up reading the book and they're like, that's not what happened. That's not their absolute truth. That could be so tough. I feel like that would be the hardest part about writing a biography memoir. [00:17:05] Speaker D: Unless you wait till everybody you're going to write about is dead morbid. [00:17:12] Speaker C: So you should just go on a killing spree. [00:17:14] Speaker D: Actually, no, that would make such a better story. [00:17:18] Speaker E: I just wanted to write my life story, but instead I had to kill everybody so that I could write my life stories. [00:17:23] Speaker D: I'd rather write that book from prison. You like, write the first? Yeah. [00:17:27] Speaker C: Oh, totally. [00:17:28] Speaker E: It's a good plan. You'd have all the time you needed to write. [00:17:31] Speaker D: Is it a good plan? [00:17:32] Speaker C: Oh, God. [00:17:33] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:17:34] Speaker E: I mean, it's a good plan if you felt like you didn't have enough time to write your story. [00:17:37] Speaker B: And also it would be like a murder mystery, right? [00:17:40] Speaker D: I don't know. [00:17:41] Speaker C: Oh, totally. [00:17:41] Speaker E: Like, at the end it would be. [00:17:43] Speaker C: Like, it was me. [00:17:43] Speaker E: Ha. Now I'm in prison. [00:17:47] Speaker D: You write your memoir and wait until everyone dies to publish it so then they don't feel upset. [00:17:52] Speaker E: Okay. [00:17:52] Speaker C: Oh, see, that's not what I was thinking. [00:17:54] Speaker E: And then also, if you died first in your will, you'd have to be like, when everyone else in this story dies. Publish this book. Ha. [00:18:03] Speaker C: Yes. [00:18:04] Speaker E: I got the last laugh for the last word. [00:18:06] Speaker D: The last sorry. [00:18:07] Speaker E: My perspective reigns. [00:18:11] Speaker C: Oh, my God, you guys, I've been. [00:18:13] Speaker B: Watching a lot of murder mysteries recently because I'm visiting my mother and that's all she watches is murder mysteries. All she reads is murder mysteries. [00:18:22] Speaker D: So when you guys are talking about that, that's all I could think about. [00:18:25] Speaker B: I'm like, that might be a good one. [00:18:27] Speaker C: Yeah, totally. [00:18:28] Speaker E: Write a book about killing spree mayor. [00:18:31] Speaker D: Killing everyone so you can write a memoir. [00:18:33] Speaker E: I guess we'll have to get rid. [00:18:35] Speaker D: Of them before this chapter is released. It'd be more interesting if it was a serial in a newspaper. You know, they used to do, like, a little bit at a time, and the person happens to die right before it's published. [00:18:47] Speaker E: Every time. [00:18:48] Speaker D: Every time. [00:18:50] Speaker E: That's like Stephen Kingy. [00:18:52] Speaker C: Oh, totally. Yeah. That would be such a good TV show. I feel like I would watch. [00:18:57] Speaker D: That person would have to have a very interesting life where at first you wouldn't think these people were connected until the story comes out. [00:19:04] Speaker C: Oh, like, until the very end, too, where it shows how everyone was intertwined and connected. [00:19:10] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:19:10] Speaker E: You're the one person, you're the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon or whatever, but you're concealed until the finale. [00:19:17] Speaker D: So Kevin Bacon would have to star in it. Of course. [00:19:20] Speaker E: Obviously. He would be the first death, the first one. [00:19:25] Speaker C: Make it the most meaningful. [00:19:28] Speaker E: You remember when Scream first came out and Drew Barrymore? Spoiler alert, all of you who haven't seen Scream from 25 years ago. Drew Barrymore gets murdered in the first 20 minutes. Everyone's like, yeah, nobody thought they'd kill her. She's a main character. [00:19:44] Speaker D: That was good. Yeah. Decoy. [00:19:46] Speaker B: Decoy back to this book. How far has anyone got? [00:19:52] Speaker D: I read the whole thing. [00:19:53] Speaker C: Oh, my God. Okay. I'm not either. I would say so. I'm listening to the audiobook, and the audiobook is just under 5 hours, and I have just over two left. [00:20:06] Speaker D: Okay, so what's happening right now in the book? Because then I'll talk about the stuff beforehand. [00:20:11] Speaker B: I haven't gone beyond Halloween. He's moved to the New School and he's made friends. Has he made friends with anyone, ashley at the New School? [00:20:21] Speaker C: Sorry, I'm just trying to think. I just went to a wedding yesterday, so my brain is so foggy a little. Sorry. Yeah, he did okay. [00:20:31] Speaker B: I thought he was going to be in a fight with a bully, and then he punched the bully, and now the bully's his friend. [00:20:38] Speaker D: Yeah. More extreme than they expected at his New School, which is Oslo. [00:20:42] Speaker E: He's like, this is just the rules. [00:20:44] Speaker D: What's going on? [00:20:45] Speaker B: I love that he called back. He's like, what's? [00:20:47] Speaker D: The rules? What? And he's like, yeah, playground rules change depending on your school, so that's fun. [00:20:55] Speaker E: I think this book would make a good movie. [00:20:57] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:20:58] Speaker C: So I moved schools from Ontario to BC. So I did high school in BC and then did all my other schooling in Ontario up to that and the rules totally different. Oh my God, I was relating so hard. What are the like, could someone just tell know? Because they were just so different. And you act one way and it's totally normal from where you came from, and then people are like, what are you doing? [00:21:28] Speaker D: Yes. [00:21:28] Speaker C: So I related to that. I felt like I was regoing through going to a new school again. [00:21:34] Speaker E: I had that same experience, not even moving schools, just moving the provinces too, because I moved from Ontario to BC as and I right away noticed the difference. Even when I came on my first vacation, I was like, oh my gosh. And I was so surprised that even within the same country, it could be so different. I don't know what I thought. Like, I'd been to England before, and so it's not like I'd never been anywhere and realized that people might act differently or whatever, but I just underestimated the possibility of that within Canada, I guess. I don't even know. But when I came here, I was like, holy. And I preferred the differences in BC. I was like, that's the way I want to do it. [00:22:16] Speaker C: I feel the same way. Kim. Yes. When I go home to Ontario, obviously it's nice to visit, but I try and tell them about how different life is in, you know, they can't even grasp it. To me, it's a lot more relaxing. [00:22:34] Speaker D: Ontario is exhausting. It is. You're in a race and you're like, I didn't sign up for this race. But everyone's racing everywhere. [00:22:44] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:22:44] Speaker C: And I don't want to live here. [00:22:46] Speaker E: Well, it is the center of the universe. [00:22:49] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:22:51] Speaker C: It's the views, it's the people. Yeah. [00:22:54] Speaker D: Everything feels like a race. I'm not racing anymore, and it's like. [00:22:59] Speaker E: Intangible, you know what I mean? I didn't realize until I came here and I was like, Even. Just they don't even know. Like niceness. The thing that I can remember being really obvious to me, and I mean, this may be different now. I don't think so though. But when we came to BC, there's like, if you're sitting on a patio, giant picnic tables, so like, you and people you don't know might sit at the same table and you might even speak to each other. It was like, weird at first. I feel like if you were to yell over even and you could also do it across the patio to another table that's not even attached to you and be like, hey, where'd you get your pants? But if you did that in Ontario, people are like, are they talking to me? Like, who is that? Do you know me? I noticed that and I was as Ontario at first uncomfortable, but then I was like, this is everybody is so friendly. [00:23:48] Speaker C: Yes. I felt like the views were a lot more liberal the further west I was going. And so that was except for Alberta. [00:23:56] Speaker E: There'S a giant conservative like cowboy wall and then we get back to some. [00:24:00] Speaker C: More once you're over that. Hump, I don't know. [00:24:04] Speaker D: I live in northern BC. [00:24:06] Speaker E: I think the Cowboy Wall extends up totally. [00:24:10] Speaker C: Yeah, it really does. [00:24:11] Speaker D: But we have a university here too, so I'd say where I am is a mix. But if you're voting and you don't vote conservative, your candidate is not going to win. [00:24:23] Speaker C: But you do it anyway. [00:24:26] Speaker D: Yes. [00:24:26] Speaker C: Same in Edmonton when I was living there. It's like you can vote for anyone else and it's almost a wasted vote because it's not going to change who's going in. We know it's conservative every time, but. [00:24:38] Speaker D: I think in a way people use that data later and say a certain percentage voted not that. And then I think that it steers what people campaign for later on. So you might get a little bit more liberal stuff into your conservative candidate. If people are like, oh, if I keep doing this I might lose the vote one day. [00:24:58] Speaker C: Yeah, fingers crossed. [00:25:00] Speaker D: One day in the far future. Yeah. [00:25:02] Speaker E: They could be conservative and be like, I suppose I could get a little more liberal on that topic. [00:25:07] Speaker D: On that topic. [00:25:09] Speaker C: Somebody's voting on that one topic, though. [00:25:12] Speaker D: People are like, you're just throwing away your vote. I was like, Whatever, I'm going to. [00:25:15] Speaker E: Vote every time I'm throwing away my vote. If I vote the way I don't want to vote too, you know what I mean? If I don't want to vote conservative and I vote conservative, that's a throwaway to me. [00:25:24] Speaker D: Or I like people that won't show. That's what people do. I'm not going to go because it won't matter. [00:25:29] Speaker C: Oh, it matters. Vote totally. One. [00:25:32] Speaker D: My kids love going to the voting thing. They give them a sticker, anything that gives them a sticker and they love it. [00:25:38] Speaker C: You're teaching them so young, though. They're probably going to remember that growing up and then when they're older be like, oh, it's time to vote, let's go. [00:25:46] Speaker D: Our whole family used to go voting together and my grandmother was blind so I could go in with her even though I was underage and pick for her. [00:25:53] Speaker C: Wow, put it in the ballot. [00:25:54] Speaker D: Which is kind of cool. [00:25:56] Speaker C: You're like, I really voted you poor grandma. [00:26:00] Speaker E: You're like. [00:26:00] Speaker C: Yeah. You won. [00:26:01] Speaker E: Too bad Grandma, we're choosing you. [00:26:04] Speaker D: I would never. She took us so seriously. He's very angry and she was nice when she wasn't angry. She was nice, but when she was angry, you know what, be on her. [00:26:12] Speaker E: Bad side, I guess we'll find out when we read your memoir. [00:26:18] Speaker D: You won't be reading it. Oh yeah, get the person to read their chapter before I kill them and I go, what do you think of this chapter? And if they like it, they survive. [00:26:30] Speaker E: Yes. And mental note. Love everything Meredith writes from now on. [00:26:37] Speaker D: Talking about childhood. Should we talk about the book? [00:26:41] Speaker E: You know what I think about this book? I think that on the surface, it's just this good story. He goes over there, he has a fight, he meets a friend, et cetera. But I also think there's a lot of nuanced, examples of implicit bias and potentially microaggressions. And I think he does a pretty good job of capturing how subtle all of that can be. It's not right out in the open, but I still think it's there. And so I think it was a good vehicle to try to bring those kind of experiences to light, because he was a native person who went into what's known to be a white school, and then that experience kind of provided the stage for those things to play out in ways that are easier to observe than just describing it, I guess. [00:27:37] Speaker B: So what do you guys think about that teacher? Why he went to the school? He's like, Go where there's hope. You still have hope. Not being mad that he punched him. He's like, I deserve to be punched. [00:27:46] Speaker D: Basically, he was, like, ashamed of himself. [00:27:48] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:27:49] Speaker D: Teacher. I mean, the teacher was yeah. [00:27:52] Speaker B: Who did he ask where hope is? Like, who has hope? Where's the most hope? [00:27:56] Speaker D: Yeah. Who has the most hope? Yeah. I can't remember who might have been his mom. I think it might have been his mom. [00:28:01] Speaker B: And he's like, white people, and he. [00:28:02] Speaker D: Was like, okay, I'm going to that school tomorrow. Tomorrow. [00:28:06] Speaker C: So I think from experience and then also just from so I was raised very white, did not learn, really, about any Indigenous culture other than that it happened. And in the beginning, one of the things he had said was he was born into poverty, and they were basically told all their lives that they're not good, they're not enough. And how are they supposed to change that lifestyle if they're told that their whole life? And then they start believing it. And I thought that was so on point for how I think a lot of Indigenous people still currently feel, because even I have friends who live on reserve, even friends that don't, and they have that internal belief I'm not good enough to be going working in a white area or going to school. And I think it's interesting to see that some of those underlying themes are still currently, I think, happening. [00:29:07] Speaker E: I think that hope conversation is a reflection of what you're talking about. Exactly. That right. [00:29:13] Speaker C: Yeah. Oh, totally. It was kind of nice at the beginning to be able to relate a lot of things and be like, oh, my gosh, this is such a Native thing. Even some of the times, the way he talked, me and my friends talk like this. And so I'm like, oh, that's just Indigenous language type of thing. Just the jokes, the type of. Jokes are type of jokes I make, too. And I felt it was almost like reading my life, too, at some points growing up and having some of the same things that he went through. Obviously not to as extreme, because I'm not disabled. But yeah, I thought it was interesting from an Indigenous perspective. [00:29:50] Speaker E: I felt lucky to be able to read that perspective because I can't have it, except for to be able to get behind the curtain by in reading a book or whatever. And it's shocking as a white person and some of the things that he talks about or just acknowledges as normal, you're like, Holy, that's just the way that it is. Like walking 14 miles. It's like, Well, I guess I'm going to walk 14 miles home. And that's just the top of my head example. Right. But I don't know. That's why I think it's important that we keep on checking it out. Because if you don't know about people or if you are at risk of discrimination or bias, the best way that you can help yourself is to try to find some people that are not like you and hang out with them. You know what I mean? So that's the best move. I think that's how you can learn, because you need to have other examples in front of you instead of reinforcing the sameness that you come. [00:30:49] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:30:49] Speaker B: Yeah. What you're saying, Kim? There was parts in the book when his dad was dropping him off at the school and he know those white people aren't better than you. And he says in it, I know he doesn't believe that, and neither do I. And I was like, that kind of statement blew me away. I was like, what? So reading what he's thinking, it changed. Because I didn't realize that he felt like that with his parents, that his parents didn't think that either. So I agree. It helps with that, getting into someone's head the way he does it, too. The book is great because it's so young. His thoughts are so young, almost like the way he's narrating in his head is super pure and super innocent. So it really makes you get it is like the absolute true diary. Like, you really kind of get it. And him drawing pictures to make fun of himself and of the guy he punched, the nose and his buddy, all these things. You get an idea. Anyway, I really like it, too, because it really does make you, in his perspective, the way it's been written and drawn and really engages you, the book, because there's pictures and there's word talking. [00:31:59] Speaker D: About the age that he's at in this book. It's like the age of the character because he's a teenager. One of the things that people during those formative years, you're a teenager, you're trying to figure out where your loyalties lie. And I think that's a lot of what this book is about is loyalty. To other people in your life and to yourself and to your past self and future self, how you balance all that. And it's just, like, complicated because he's changing schools and his friend is feeling like he's betraying him. He's not being loyal and saying something that his going to the school is saying something negative about him. I like that theme of loyalty in the book because if he was a different age and moving, there would be those themes. But when you're a teenager, that's kind of where you're not going to be focused so much on your parents as you were before. You're focusing more on your friends and connecting with them as well. It's like very powerful how he kind of almost subtly shows the struggle that a lot of teenagers go through, but it's just, like, complicated by the cultural clashing that's happening here. [00:33:06] Speaker E: Colonialism. [00:33:07] Speaker D: Yeah. It makes it so much more difficult because it's hard enough going through that age and trying to figure out where you fit in and where you want to be and still honor the person you were and where you came from, but also change from your parents and your family and all that stuff. So it's interesting the time period that this book was written in because I think it just magnifies everything, all of that as well, by choosing a teenager to show even harder to be a teenager in this character's case. [00:33:36] Speaker C: Yeah. And also showing that I think as society, we still need to show empathy towards youth. I remember growing up and complaining about things that I felt were really hard at the time and still, even looking back, I think they were really hard. And hearing from adults so many times, you're a kid, you don't pay bills, you don't do this or this, you have it so good, et cetera. And there will always be positives to things. But it's also okay to be like, this is tough, and to talk about it and not have that toxic positivity. Because, yes, of course there are these awesome things that are happening, but also, life's tough, and talking about that toughness can help bring other people together and be like, hey, I'm not alone. Other people are experiencing this, and this is normal. Or maybe not normal or right, but there's so many people experiencing it. We can change it. [00:34:30] Speaker D: Yeah, talking about it makes it easier to deal with because people are like, oh, I deal with that too, or whatever. Full grown adults comparing to youth or whatever. It's like, it's not helpful. It's, oh, you think you have a bad? Here's the thing. I have bad. And you're like, well, that doesn't really help at all. Everybody's got their stuff, right? Yeah. It's not a competition. It's not a competition. Let's just support each other. [00:34:52] Speaker E: I also like how this book showed, in spite of what you would at surface judge as negative alcoholism in a family or poverty or whatever. And these things are also attached to indigenous people as all that they are in worst case scenarios. This book also really was competent at showing there's a lot of love. It's not a simplified, you know what I mean? It's not just like this equals bad, poor them, you know what I mean? It's like, yeah, that's not ideal. That also is the result of intergenerational years of trauma. And there still is love and there's still this family unit, a glowing ember within all of the negativity. That is the outcome of it. And I also think that there could be a way to look at this book. Him going to this new school and being accepted is almost like the fantasy of rewriting history. White people were like, you shouldn't be here, and we're hoping to eradicate you. That's the messaging for natives, right? That's why they don't have the self esteem. That's why they don't feel like they're as good as enough. Because that messaging has been everywhere always. And so him going over to this white school, fighting for a minute and then becoming part of it and being a valued member of it, I think is a cool way to look at a rewriting of history too, in a microcosm little story. [00:36:23] Speaker C: And also showing that kids don't care. At the end of the day, we're taught that hate and we're taught not trust different things. And I think at the end of the day, people want to connect. It doesn't really matter or it shouldn't matter, the race, gender, ethnicity, et cetera. And I think that's one thing that's so pure about youth is they don't have that hate unless it's instilled in them or it's really taught to them. They will play with other kids and be like, we're twins, and could be totally different races, right? But because they both have the same haircut, they think they're twins and that's so cute and pure. And so I think that is also kind of showing too, that kids want to connect at any age. They'll find their people and when they do, it can be such a beautiful thing. And you might not fit in in your first or second place, but there is a spot for you somewhere and you will find that group of people that you're supposed to be with. [00:37:21] Speaker E: Yeah, my husband's going to come home at some point, just so you guys know. So I'm kind of like semi distracted because I'm so hope he comes home. I just mean during this taping. So I'm kind of distracted because I'm like text me so I can mute he's forgotten some key or something. And here's another thing. Do you guys know this Sarah has a cat in Senegal? [00:37:47] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. [00:37:48] Speaker E: That is literally, literally the exact same as a cat that I have here in my house right now. Exactly like it's a black cat with a white dot on the end of its tail. [00:37:59] Speaker B: That's it. [00:38:00] Speaker C: Oh, my God. So crazy. [00:38:03] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:38:03] Speaker D: Isn't that? I showed her a picture of my cat. [00:38:05] Speaker B: She was like, Wait. [00:38:07] Speaker D: And then picture of her cat. If only they could meet. I know. [00:38:13] Speaker E: They're twins. [00:38:15] Speaker C: Hey. On Zoom. You guys hold them up. [00:38:19] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm in Ontario right now, so my cats are back in Senegal. [00:38:22] Speaker C: Oh, my gosh. You're in Canada right now. [00:38:25] Speaker A: She doesn't travel with her cat. [00:38:27] Speaker D: Can you imagine bringing a cat on a 24 hours trip? [00:38:31] Speaker C: I wouldn't either. Lord help you. Yeah. [00:38:33] Speaker E: When I traveled to Ontario, there was. [00:38:35] Speaker A: A woman traveling with cats in her. [00:38:39] Speaker E: Bags that she brought onto the plane. Like, not wherever you send animals the whole time. Not that I know this. [00:38:48] Speaker D: She probably drugged it. That's what people do, right? When they travel with a cat. Sometimes. It's true. People drug their cat. [00:38:54] Speaker C: Yeah. Oh, no, totally. Yeah. [00:38:56] Speaker E: And you do it with human antihistamines? [00:38:58] Speaker C: Well, yeah, because they get so much anxiety. [00:39:01] Speaker D: Do you? [00:39:01] Speaker E: Yeah, me and Nancy, when we drove from Ontario to BC, her cat was crazy because she knew he didn't travel well anyway, and so she Googled like, what do we do? And whatever. So it was human antihistamines. I can't remember now. Like pseudophed or whatever. What we didn't know, though, was that cats have this built in defense mechanism where if they eat something, I guess poisonous or whatever the body registers is foreign. They'll foam up like a crazy rabid. Nancy's freaking out already because she's high strung as it is. So we give this cat this dosage and it immediately starts foaming at the mouth. And I'm like, rapidly googling, did we kill this cat? Like, what's happening? But it was just normal. And then for the rest of the trip, that was business as usual. No problem. Give the cat the thing. It foams like a crazy beast and then it goes to sleep for 6 hours. [00:39:56] Speaker D: That's so traumatic. [00:39:58] Speaker C: For you and the cat. [00:40:00] Speaker E: Well, no. For Nancy, really? [00:40:03] Speaker D: I'm not taking any food from that lady when we get home. [00:40:09] Speaker C: I'm running away. [00:40:11] Speaker E: Totally. [00:40:12] Speaker D: Oh, my God. [00:40:13] Speaker E: What is this, torture? [00:40:16] Speaker B: I have a quick question about the book. Come on. [00:40:22] Speaker D: Let'S talk about pets. People love hearing about our pets, right? [00:40:26] Speaker E: This is a pet podcast, right? [00:40:29] Speaker D: Talking about pets. The part where his dog died, that. [00:40:35] Speaker C: Was so devastating because he asked his mom, she said they're broke. He goes, Well, I'll pay you back. He didn't understand. [00:40:43] Speaker D: He's like, I'll get a job. And she's like, yeah, we don't have the money today. Yeah, we can't. [00:40:50] Speaker E: Another example of poverty and differences and whatever. [00:40:55] Speaker C: Absolutely. Yeah. [00:40:56] Speaker E: What was wrong with that dog? Because I don't remember this part. [00:40:59] Speaker C: Yeah, I was having seizures. I think it was really remember for. [00:41:03] Speaker B: Shaking and he touched him. He'd whine. They didn't really know because he's like, we have to take him to the vet. He's just really sick. [00:41:09] Speaker E: They were like, we can't we just can't an option for us. [00:41:13] Speaker C: Yeah. And it probably would have cost $1,000 realistically. [00:41:16] Speaker E: That's what she said. It's hard. [00:41:22] Speaker C: And the way they dealt with it, I think is very true to still how things are dealt with when it comes to sick animals on reservations, because I think the poverty is still running very rampant in almost all native communities. I also wanted to touch base on there was fighting. The main character would get so upset. I feel like they were pushed to their limits multiple times and then would finally fight back. And they were the one that got in trouble every time. It's like you push someone to their tipping point, they're so cruel to this person, and then once they explode, then they're then demonized. And I think that happened a couple of times in the sense that when he threw the book and he hit his teacher, he thought he was going to jail and he was just like, oh, when this kind of stuff happens, it's so extreme. He's going to jail. That's so sad. I think it's hard when people are being bullied or they're in a lower socioeconomic status community. And he was so upset that book was 30 years old. He was so upset that he was being bullied, et cetera, et cetera. That's a totally normal being so upset. Yes. Then he got suspended and then he got in trouble, et cetera. And it's what about the people that brought him there, brought him to that point? [00:42:54] Speaker D: If you put somebody in a desperate situation, well, then desperate people do desperate things. Like, you just can't predict. Maybe the best way to not make somebody do desperate things is to not put them in a desperate situation or. [00:43:09] Speaker C: Not treat them like shit. [00:43:11] Speaker D: Right. Where they don't have any choices. [00:43:12] Speaker C: Yeah. And then society still is, oh, well, why do indigenous people do XYZ? It's like, well, this has been centuries going on in the making, and of course things are going to come to a head at some point. And it's just so ironic that it's almost always the indigenous communities that are painted as bad because it's not a. [00:43:33] Speaker E: Reflection of their character, it's like a reflection of their trauma. [00:43:36] Speaker C: Yes. [00:43:37] Speaker E: And their lack of options. [00:43:39] Speaker D: So there's one part of the book. [00:43:41] Speaker B: Where he had to get ten teeth taken out because at one time he had to do it all at one time because they only will cover one appointment. Like stuff like that. My son had to get some cavities done and they wouldn't even let him do both sides on the same appointment because they're like, oh, we wouldn't want to freeze him on both sides. That might be uncomfortable, but let's pull ten teeth in the same day from a child. [00:44:08] Speaker C: From a child. [00:44:08] Speaker B: Because you only get coverage once a year. [00:44:11] Speaker C: And that's another thing, too, is you'll hear society say, oh, well, indigenous people, they get free health care they get. [00:44:17] Speaker B: Et cetera, et cetera. [00:44:18] Speaker C: And obviously it's a lot better than what it was back when he was a child. But at the same time, we're still going through hoops. There's so much limitations to it. And all this free stuff sometimes causes more issues. In the end, it might be expensive to access, too. [00:44:37] Speaker D: It's like begrudgingly free. [00:44:38] Speaker C: Yes. [00:44:39] Speaker D: Oh, yeah. [00:44:40] Speaker E: Here, we'll give it to you. But you have to get all ten teeth pulled in one thing, because we're not paying for more than that. [00:44:45] Speaker C: Yeah, exactly. [00:44:46] Speaker E: It's not like, Let us take care of you. [00:44:48] Speaker C: Yes. It feels like the government is annoyed that they have to do this. And so it's like, how can we make this as annoying and hard for you as possible? Yeah, it's like pulling teeth to get anything from them. [00:45:06] Speaker E: That was well done. Thank you. [00:45:13] Speaker D: Mic drop. [00:45:13] Speaker E: And on that note, I wanted to. [00:45:17] Speaker B: Ask you guys, we are reading this book because it was banned in places, so I'm only a third away through. [00:45:24] Speaker D: So far. [00:45:24] Speaker B: There's nothing in it, I would say. Oh, that's why it's banned. [00:45:29] Speaker D: I don't know. Masturbation. [00:45:30] Speaker C: Do we know why it was banned? [00:45:32] Speaker E: Well, I'll look it up, but yeah, the masturbation is my main guess. But I'd also say even just like the alcoholism and that's kind of what I thought, too. [00:45:42] Speaker C: Yeah. The fighting type of thing, like the. [00:45:46] Speaker E: Truth, the truthness of it all. [00:45:48] Speaker D: It's probably banned because that's kind of. [00:45:51] Speaker C: What I was thinking. [00:45:52] Speaker E: Yeah, they said, absolutely true, Diary. [00:45:54] Speaker D: Ban it. [00:45:55] Speaker A: We can't have people knowing of an Indian. [00:45:58] Speaker E: No. Yeah. We don't want to hear it. [00:46:01] Speaker B: Even masturbation. It's for teenagers, right? [00:46:05] Speaker D: Yeah, teenagers masturbating. [00:46:08] Speaker E: The vaginas in the other one got it banned. People don't like genitals. [00:46:14] Speaker C: They don't like sexually active people don't talk about sex. [00:46:20] Speaker D: I want to know on the book interrupted website. What we have here is oh, good. Great. This book was the most challenged in the US between 2010 and 2019. It was banned for profanity sexual references and allegations of sexual misconduct. [00:46:36] Speaker E: On October 14, Crestwood School District, Mi so maybe Michigan superintendents sent out a mass email informing the public that the Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian was removed from the 9th grade curriculum due to vulgar language and explicit reference to male or female genitalia. Told you. There it is. [00:46:58] Speaker B: 9Th grade. [00:46:59] Speaker C: I mean, in so many schools, they still don't even want to talk about sex ed. So I think maybe having books that reference it, then they have kids who are asking questions, maybe, and they're like. [00:47:11] Speaker D: We don't want this day and age. A lot of children, not all children, but a lot of children have, like, cell phones and a tablet and access to the Internet whenever they want. They know what a penis is and what a vagina is. They know about masturbation. Do you really just want them to go on YouTube and figure it out, or do you want them to get a sex ed? And this is pretty innocence. You're going to have the sexual feelings unless you get the drugs in the giver. [00:47:39] Speaker E: Yeah. There's also the use of the N word. Hudson School District halted lessons after they received complaints from an African American student and classmates when an 8th grade teacher read a passage from the Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian that included a character's racist joke featuring the N word. [00:47:59] Speaker C: Why would the teacher then say that. [00:48:01] Speaker E: It'S written in the book, though. Honestly, like, full disclosure, I said it when I was reading it to Fred, and he was like and I was like, oh, my. Like, I freaked out too, because I'm just reading. And then defenders of the book, including English teachers and faculty, department chairs, students of the Board of Hastings, and decreed what they called censorship of the book. But the school district administration has said its priority is protecting students and that schools should be sensitive to the historic marginalization of students of color. So this is something that bothers me in critical race theory, is about teaching how woven into every aspect of society racism and oppression is. Some people argue on the other side that it perpetuates it in some way to call everything racist. That's kind of like the shallow response, everything's not racist. But that kind of just reminded me. [00:48:56] Speaker B: Of that when it says it in the book because I just read it is when those bullies said that to him. [00:49:02] Speaker E: I know. It's an example. [00:49:04] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:49:04] Speaker B: And that's when he punched them in the face, like being like, too far. Right. So I think that's an example of things that actually happen to kids in the playground. [00:49:14] Speaker D: I also think if you're a teacher reading the book aloud, maybe just don't you say the word aloud. [00:49:21] Speaker E: Yeah, like know ahead of time. [00:49:22] Speaker D: And it's not your children just lane right. [00:49:25] Speaker B: Or just have the kids read it. [00:49:27] Speaker C: Don't read it to them in 9th grade. For real, like, why are you reading to your children? [00:49:33] Speaker B: Yeah, why are you reading aloud? [00:49:34] Speaker E: It's a great opportunity, though, to have a conversation around why the N word is so crazy, you know what I mean? For who can say it? Who can't say it? Why do you hear it in raps? To get really into the history of the whole situation. All things that get censored if handled appropriately are excellent vehicles to educate learning tools. [00:49:58] Speaker B: You're a teacher. [00:49:59] Speaker D: Teach. [00:50:00] Speaker C: Oh, absolutely. They could have had discussion questions. [00:50:03] Speaker D: Yeah, but also, not every teacher is going to feel comfortable being like, well, I guess we're talking about this now. I'm just saying some teachers would and some teachers would be like, I'm just going to pretend that didn't happen. They're just human beings, right? [00:50:18] Speaker C: Oh, totally. [00:50:19] Speaker D: No, it's the same cross section of population and teachers as the rest of the population. [00:50:23] Speaker E: That might and I mean, it matters if people who are African American, like people who are part of the history related to the N word, if they complain, you have to listen. You know what I mean? That matters. You can't just be like, it's educational. We can't just brush it off. So it's not simple, I guess, is. [00:50:43] Speaker C: What we are finding. [00:50:44] Speaker E: Right? It's very complex. You have to also rely on the. [00:50:48] Speaker D: Fact that the teacher is competent and. [00:50:51] Speaker E: It'S not a perfect world. [00:50:53] Speaker C: Competent and educated and not racist. [00:50:57] Speaker D: What we also know is if you write a book for children that has any genitals in it, it'll be banned. [00:51:04] Speaker E: Any genitals so far, that's it. If we identify something as a penis or a vagina, we do not get to talk about it any further. [00:51:13] Speaker C: Even though population has a penis and the other half has a vagina and. [00:51:18] Speaker E: We can population has both. [00:51:21] Speaker C: Yeah, well, and there you go, too. Taboo. [00:51:24] Speaker E: Cannot talk about it, don't talk about it. [00:51:27] Speaker C: Have it, but don't let us know. [00:51:31] Speaker D: It'S private. Does anybody else find that difficult to explain to your children why certain parts are private parts? My kids are just like, but why? They're still like, but why? I'm like, you just need to cover it up. You just don't show to people. [00:51:48] Speaker C: And it's pure because they are just well, I don't get why there are things different. They're just so pure. It's not for a bad reason that they're asking or curious about it. [00:52:02] Speaker D: Why does it matter if somebody sees my butt? I was like, Just don't show people your butt. [00:52:07] Speaker C: They're like, but my butt's the best. Totally closed. [00:52:13] Speaker B: I'm constantly reminding my daughter that those. [00:52:16] Speaker D: Were private because she's like, oh, my pants fell down. I'm like, It's fine, but just that wasn't an accident. [00:52:23] Speaker E: Get them up. [00:52:25] Speaker D: I know. I knew you did that on purpose. Stop showing your butt. [00:52:30] Speaker E: Yeah, well, part of it is probably just the reaction that you get from Mum. This gets Mum going, I'm going to pull my pants down more. [00:52:38] Speaker D: Look at this. Yeah, that's why I do it. I like the attention. [00:52:43] Speaker E: Yeah, totally. [00:52:45] Speaker D: Sorry, Sarah. My pants fell down. Oh, boy. Well, I want to say that when we first started talking about this book, I thought we were saying that it was a graphic novel, which it is, but it's more novel than graphic. [00:53:04] Speaker C: Yes. [00:53:04] Speaker E: And I like that. If this qualifies as graphic novel, this is my kind of graphic novel. Yeah, I prefer the not comic book format. [00:53:13] Speaker D: Right. The drawings were like a way of expressing his personality and how he deals with ideas and his feelings and thoughts and stuff. And it's something a kid would do, is have little sketches about frustrations or whatever. When we first started talking, it was a graphic novel. I was thinking more like more graphic, less novel. But anyway, so that's interesting. If somebody's wondering about that, it's mostly just a novel with some drawings in it. [00:53:39] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:53:40] Speaker C: So I'm listening to the audiobook. Yeah. And so I didn't even know that there was pictures or anything in it because in the audiobook, he's just kind of talking about like, oh, I do these pictures, but there's no mention of. [00:53:54] Speaker B: This is a self portrait of himself. [00:53:57] Speaker C: That is so cool. Yeah. Did not know that was in the book at all. [00:54:02] Speaker D: See, now I got to pick up. [00:54:03] Speaker C: A version of the book and go look at it. [00:54:05] Speaker B: Yeah, you should. [00:54:06] Speaker D: I was just going to say that. [00:54:07] Speaker E: Makes me wonder about if Funhouse could be done on an audiobook and would it be like a play? Like, would there be different people having different anyway, so that's just food for thought. That's as far as I go with it. Just think about that. Fun House audiobook discuss amongst I don't. [00:54:26] Speaker B: Think this is considered a graphic novel. I think it's a novel with drama, with graphics. [00:54:31] Speaker E: But it was called that somewhere. Yeah, because I almost didn't pick it because it was called a graphic novel. [00:54:37] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:54:37] Speaker C: Okay. [00:54:37] Speaker D: That was a discussion we had because. [00:54:39] Speaker E: I was like, I didn't like Fun House. Who knows why I didn't like it? Not me. I know. I for sure don't like the delivery in comic book form. [00:54:48] Speaker B: No, I didn't like it the way you're reading it. It was all bubbles and then text below. I really didn't like that format. So I thought, this is like, my second opportunity. But, yeah, I could read ones like this if this is considered a graphic novel. [00:55:01] Speaker E: Right. [00:55:01] Speaker B: I loved all the little pictures that are added to it. I think it adds to the book. I can read the novel without being every sentence interrupted. I hated that. [00:55:11] Speaker E: I also think it's a good transition book for youth because, I mean, they're doing it in grade nine, but I'm doing it with my nine year old. He still likes a picture in a book, but I want to start reading more novels to him. So when we can find those novels that have a picture every chapter or whatever, that helps bring him along if he's not fully buying in. [00:55:31] Speaker D: Totally. Like a lot of kids first novels are pictures as well. [00:55:36] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:55:37] Speaker C: And mine was I remember my first novel, it totally had at the beginning of each chapter, there was like a picture for the chapter, and I would go back and read all those types of books when I started getting into bigger books, too. So yeah, that's a really good point, that the kids will like it. [00:55:55] Speaker D: I really like books that each chapter starts with a quote. That's a good one. Because people who write love writing and they like words and books, they like quotes. [00:56:07] Speaker E: Meredith, master of the obvious. [00:56:10] Speaker D: That's me. But they probably read a lot, right? They have some interesting quotes from places, and everybody reads different stuff. So I like that. [00:56:18] Speaker E: I like to see how the quote at the beginning captures the chapter. I want it to be like the summary of this chapter or a little teaser. [00:56:27] Speaker D: Teaser. Yeah, I was going to say, yeah. [00:56:29] Speaker B: That'S what I like, the teaser of the quote like, oh, what's happening? [00:56:33] Speaker E: I like also, and I wish also you know, when a chapter starts with a giant letter, the first word in the I want that giant letter to also start all of the rest of the words that are beside it, not just the first. [00:56:46] Speaker C: That would be cool to do. Yes, I like that as well. I wanted to mention that because we were talking about how he was drawing and stuff like that. He also says, I think near the beginning or middleish of the book, that the only indigenous people that made it off the Res were artists. They were musicians, actors, type of things, poets. They were these very creative people. And he was saying how he's poor, he's going to live in that forever. And so he keeps drawing because he thinks that's how he's going to make it off the reserve again. So many people still to this day on reserves think, well, I'm stuck here. I can't get out of this situation unless I catch a big break. And that's also sad because why does everyone need to catch a big break to just make it in life? Exactly. We should be celebrating all people, no matter what. So you're an artist. Cool. This person's an accountant. That's also cool. Everyone should be celebrated no matter where they are. I thought that was so sad to hear. I have to do this or I will not make it off the Res. [00:58:02] Speaker E: It's sad that he's, like, trying to escape his home base in general. Could you imagine that's where you lived every day, all day, is a place you're trying to escape, and then B, it's also extra sad that he's trying to escape to a place that notoriously has tried to kill him historically, anyway, doesn't want you to exist anyway. So it's like, damned if you do, damned if you don't, right? Like, I got to get out of here, but I'm going to the place where it's going to be even worse. But that's where it's better, too. It's just really fucked up. [00:58:32] Speaker C: Yeah. And it shows that colonial system that it's trying to keep entrap indigenous people on reserves and just that ingrained belief that you're not good enough and you can't do things and you can't make a life out of just an average job. It has to be this crazy, extravagant thing to pull them out of poverty for them to even have a chance. And that is just so sad because that's going to happen for people. [00:59:00] Speaker E: It's like that observation that Chris Rock makes in his stand up about how he lives on a street. I'm going to screw it up because I always screw up. If I retell any jokes or whatever. But the point is, he lives, like, on this really rich neighborhood. Basically, he is an exception. Right. Like, he's famous, and not everybody becomes famous, like Mer said. But he lives on the street with a white dentist and a white chiropractor. Right. Like, just regular people, but they're white. It's the similar thing. Right. Like, if you want to achieve anything, you got to achieve it times ten plus one and extra to even be on the baseline level of what other people get to just enjoy every day by virtue of their rights, supposedly. Right? [00:59:41] Speaker C: Yeah. Then it's all taken. Your credibility is taken away from you as soon as you turn into an angry person, which you have every right to feel. Yes. [00:59:51] Speaker D: Right. [00:59:52] Speaker C: It's this never ending cycle that just keeps people in there. I really like the themes. If you're reading and you're trying to read between the lines, those themes are there. It's so sad but crazy to see that they're still there. And he said he was from the Spokane reservation. I have people from Penticted Indian Band going to Spokane all the time, so that was really cool, too, to be oh, I bet if my friends read this, they would know places he was talking was. Yeah. I thought that was so yeah, it's. [01:00:23] Speaker D: Cool to read a book that's placed in a place that you know because. [01:00:28] Speaker C: You can picture yourself there. [01:00:30] Speaker D: Yeah. It makes it a little bit more real. Yeah. [01:00:34] Speaker B: That drawing that I was showing you of his parents this one? [01:00:38] Speaker C: Yeah. [01:00:38] Speaker B: What it says is who my parents would have been if someone had paid attention to their dreams. And his mother would be a community college teacher, and his dad would be the fifth best jazz sax player west of the Mississippi. Those were their dreams. That's what he's saying. But no one paid attention to them. [01:00:56] Speaker C: And they didn't have the lifestyle to be able to do that. They probably had to work and work and work just to even probably put the bare minimum on the table and live. And so, of course, just even that doesn't give them the time to continue practicing these life, hobbies and passions. Right. They may end up having lost it because they didn't practice it. Yeah. That's cool. I got to pick up the book because I want to see all these pictures. Yeah. Next time when we do our final episode of it, I will have had the book, and so I can talk about that. [01:01:30] Speaker D: Yeah. All right. [01:01:31] Speaker B: I guess that's it. [01:01:33] Speaker E: Great. [01:01:34] Speaker D: She's awake. Hey, good timing. Hey, Barbara. [01:01:40] Speaker E: Goodness. [01:01:41] Speaker C: So cute. Hey, puppy. [01:01:44] Speaker B: All right, ladies. [01:01:46] Speaker D: No, no hugs. She's, like, trying to climb up. [01:01:52] Speaker B: Thank you for joining us on this episode of Book Interrupted. If you'd like to see the video highlights from this episode, please go to our YouTube channel, Book Interrupted. You can also find our videos on A book Club is just a book without members. Join the community by following us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up for exclusive content through our [email protected] slash unpublished. We'd like to give a big shout out to our listeners. Your support makes this all possible. Thank you for the uplifting feedback and for recommending us to family and friends. We love hearing from you. Please reach out through our [email protected] fans or by emailing. [email protected] we appreciate you for taking time out of your busy schedule to connect with us. See you next time on Book Interrupted. Book interrupted. [01:02:49] Speaker A: Never forget every Child matters.

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