This is a YA novel I picked up on the recommendation of a very old friend, one of my oldest in fact, a guy I've known since we were in first grade together and who was one of my best friends in high school. The reason he recommended the book is that it's at least partially autobiographical, and his son was one of Sherman Alexie's best friends. His son's name is Gordy, and a boy by that name plays a big part in the novel. If the real Gordy is anything like the one in the book, my friend can be justifiably proud.
As for the book itself, it's an amazingly whacked-out combination of humor and grief. It has some of the saddest things I've read in the YA novels I've looked at, and some of the funniest. You'll laugh, but it'll break your heart. Some of the funny scenes are also the saddest.
The main character, Arnold Spirit, or Junior, is a Seattle Indian, and he lives on the reservation. He decides to leave the reservation and attend a school that has no Indians, only white kids. He knows he has to break away, but he feels guilty for doing it. He leaves behind his best friend, who then turns on him. Arnold feels like an outcast on the reservation and in school. He's pulled both ways and seems to belong nowhere.
Alexie is a balls-to-the-wall storyteller, and I think a lot of adults who read this blog would find a lot to like in this book.