Based on Sherman Alexie’s firsthand experiences growing up as an Indigenous American, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian tells the tale of Junior, a budding teenage cartoonist with hydrocephalus – a condition that causes him to have seizures, a stutter and a lisp on top of excess spinal fluid on the brain.
Living on the Spokane Indian Reservation, Junior is bullied for his condition, and struggles with life at home. After a teacher warns him that the reservation is known for “crushing a person’s spirit,” Junior decides to transfer to Rearden High School. The catch? The town of Rearden is all-white, and the only other Indian around is the school mascot.