The Absolutely True Diary
Junior, the main character, has a number of issues - he suffered from seizures as a young boy, he's not super attractive, and his family lives on a reservation and doesn't have a lot of money. His best friend is verbally and physically abusive. After Junior decides to attend the all-white school several miles away, the protagonist contends with a new set of struggles. In finding his way "out," he also finds things to appreciate.
This is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. It's raw and painful and human and eye-opening. It's fast-paced, and examines ways that people are locked into groups and their intentional and unintentional sabotage of those who would move between groups and systems. Alcoholism, character deaths, slurs against various groups of people, and graphic violence are all part of the story. Heartbreaking and humorous, heartwarming, and autobiographical, this is an unforgettable read.
Note for advanced readers: This book has a considerable amount of mature content and language.
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