Native American kid Arnold Spirit Junior lives on a reservation in Spokane, Washington. He likes drawing comics, reading, and messing around with his best friend (skirting danger by climbing a hundred-foot-plus pine tree for example). He describes how dead-end life feels on the reservation- seeing so many people around him sunk in alcoholism and poverty, attending more than forty funerals in less than fifteen years. Decides he wants something better and transfers to an all-white high school off the reservation. He has to hitchike or walk most days to get there, since his family usually doesn’t have enough money to put gas in the car. Adjustment is tough. Kids at the new school ignore him, or tease. People back home resent him for what they see as a betrayal. He just wants more opportunity. He makes the baseketball team but then has to go up against the team he used to be on- from the rez high school. Full of guilt for trying to live one foot on each side of a fence, as it were. So much sad stuff in this book- deaths in the tribe, sister who moves away, best friend now hates him, etc. Yet there’s also great strength in the family, the traditions. And everything is treated lightly- held at arm’s length by the humor (or at least, that’s how it felt to me). I get why this book was banned in some places- the narrator is a teenage boy and he talks frankly about things like masturbation and staring at women’s breasts – it wasn’t terribly offensive. More offensive is what I learned afterwards, of the author’s behavior. I still like the book okay, but now have no interest in anything else by this writer.