Book details real-life experiences of an Indian

Have you read the book that everyone in Redmond is talking about?

Have you read the book that everyone in Redmond is talking about?

It’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. As the “One Book, One Redmond, One Summer 2008” selection, teens and adults throughout the city have been encouraged to enjoy it and share their thoughts.

Book discussions are now underway but you can still be part of the “in crowd.” It’s a quick-to-read book and copies are available for check-out at the Redmond Regional Library, 15990 NE 85th St.

Free program guides at the library include background about the book and popular discussion questions. You can also stop at the Redmond Regional Library to pick up a coupon for a 20 percent discount if you’d like to purchase the book at Borders Books and Music at Redmond Town Center, 16549 NE 74th St.

In addition, the Redmond Regional Library has entry forms for a contest that concludes on Sept. 20. List your five favorite books and brief descriptions and be entered to win nine of Arnold’s (the main character in “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”) favorite books. Again, both teens and adults are invited to participate.

“The Absolutely True Diary …” is based on Alexie’s real-life experiences of growing up on an Indian reservation and deciding to transfer to a high school where the only Indian is the school mascot.

With vignettes that veer from hilarious to heartbreaking, the protagonist, Arnold Spirit — better known as Junior — describes the challenges that he and his family have faced, as well as surprising friendships found in the white world.

Ellen Forney’s quirky illustrations are also a key component of the book, because Junior expresses his emotions through cartooning.

Upcoming book discussions are as follows:

• 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, McDonald’s Book Exchange, 16415 NE 83rd St.

• 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, Cascade Club at Trilogy, 23225 NE Greens Crossing Rd.

• 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, Borders Books and Music, 16549 NE 74th St.

• 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, Redmond Senior Center, 8703 160th Ave. NE.

• 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, Redmond City Hall Lobby, 15670 NE 85th St.

• 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, Redmond City Hall Lobby, 15670 NE 85th St.

And at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney will appear in person at the Redmond High School Performing Arts Center, 17272 NE 104th St. This event is free and open to the entire community.

Earlier on Sept. 25, Alexie will speak to Language Arts students and teachers at Redmond High School.

For more information about “One Book, One Redmond, One Summer 2008,” visit the blog at or call (425) 885-1861.

In other news from the Redmond Regional Library, a temporary closure that was anticipated to take place in late summer or early fall has been postponed.

That closure for renovations at the library is now tentatively scheduled for November or December.