Adolescents experience a developmental journey as they transition from child to adult
Adolescents experience a developmental journey as they transition from child to adult, and in doing so are faced with many developmental milestones. Physical, cognitive, social and emotional changes are occurring during this tumultuous stage of life, and making sense of one’s self and identity becomes a priority. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian addresses the challenges of adolescence in an engaging tale, but deals with minority communities and cultures as well.
Not only is Junior unpopular and alienated, but the victim of taunts and bullying as well. Furthermore, he’s considered a traitor after he transfers to Reardon. At Reardon, he’s called names and endures racial jokes until he finally finds acceptance through basketball and surprisingly finds friends with similar interests. Ultimately, Junior comes to the “huge realization” that not only does he belong to the Spokane Indian tribe, but to no less than 13 additional groups (Basketball players, cartoonists, bookworms, and sons to name a few). It is the first time he knows that he will be “OK”, sending a positive message to readers that identify with his struggles. By reading about characters similar to themselves, young adults can see that their challenges are not unique and are shared by other adolescents (Bucher & Hinton, 2009)