Title: The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.
Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone, I think
Setting: Spokane Indian Reservation, Reardan and Wellpinit
I was born with water on the brain.
Junior leaves the reservation to go to school in nearby (22 miles) farm-town Reardan where the only other Indian is the school mascot. In the process he learns many things - some good and some not so good. This is a great YA story but I had the feeling I was reading one of the top future challenged books. There are racial slurs, bigotry issues and talk of masturbation (the shame, because teenagers don't engage in this activity!)
The book also deals with death, familial relations and drunken Indians - definitely firestarter topics! I think it should be a must-read starting in Jr. High!