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Alexie wants the reader to realize that the reservation that Junior lives on can't afford to buy new books every year for the students and that most of the books are from over thirty years earlier.
One of the most compelling aspects of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is that the reader sees firsthand how devastating and agonizing poverty is not only for an individual, but for an entire community.
"My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents studied from."
Alexie wants the reader to realize that making ends meet in a family that does not make very much money is difficult and may take more of an effort than other families.
“I mean, my mother and father were working hard for me too. They were constantly scraping together enough money to pay for gas, to get my lunch money, to buy me a new pair of jeans and a few shirts. My parents gave me just enough money so that I could pretend to have more money than I did."
"I knew that two or three of those Indians might not have eaten breakfast that morning. No food in the house. I knew that seven or eight of those Indians lived with drunken mothers and fathers. I knew that one of those Indians had a father who dealt crack and meth. I knew that two of those Indians had fathers in prison. I knew that none of them were going to college. Not one of them."
Alexie wants the reader to realize that Junior lives in a neighborhood full of poverty that relies on drug dealing to make money or drinking alcohol to make them feel better about themselves or landing in prison for drug and alcohol related crimes. All of them do not have enough money to let their children go to college and let them have a better life.
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