This book had me both simultaneously laughing and crying. Junior's life is simply horrifying and that is the way things are, particularly on the rez. It was depressing to read about how many of the children in his school had broken families and lives, almost entirely because of alcohol abuse. Junior has a way of telling about life with a humorous slant, even when things are going so wrong. The cartoons throughout kept a lighter tone to prevent the reader from bawling throughout (I imagine). It was poignant, interesting, funny, and sad. Definitely a book worthy of its award (National Book Award) and of reading.
A bit like American Born Chineseby Gene Luen Yang (at least for the illustrations)
also kinda like The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
A couple of references.
Overall rating: ***