In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is about a 14 year old boy named Junior, who lives on a Spokane Reservation. Junior loves to draw. Drawing is his lifeboat. All of the illustrations add detail and personality to the book.
Throughout the book, the pictures get more detailed. For example, when he first drew Penelope (page 59), it wasn’t as detailed but towards the end of the book, Junior drew her again. The second picture of her (page 113) was more realistic. This showed the reader that Junior did not know Penelope very well at first. Towards the end of the book, Junior new more about her, and saw her differently than he did before. On page 43, there is a picture of Junior standing by a road sign. One side is pointing one way that says “Rez” and “Home”. The other side is pointed the other way that says “Hope”. In the drawing, he looks lost. This helps tell us how hard it was for Junior to decide to go to Reardon to find hope, or stay at the Rez and not be successful. On page 182, there was a picture that shows how Junior is seen in the Wellpinit Gym compared to how he is seen in the Reardon Gym. In the picture, Junior is saying “who am I?” The picture helps represent Junior struggling while playing against his best friend, Rowdy, and old basketball team.
The pictures Junior drew gave a better idea about his personality. On page 214, he created a picture of his report card. He drew stars around it and wrote, “Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen”. This helped the readers understand his humor and how proud he was of himself for getting good grades. Also, he drew cartoons. When he talked about being poor, there was a cartoon (page 128), the cartoon showed the possible ways for him to answer, “Are you poor”?
I do not read many books with illustrations. However, I enjoyed the pictures in this book because it helped me understand Junior as a person. It helped me understand what Junior was going through. The illustrations helped me picture the book better.