Sherman Alexie

Kids, it may be difficult, but you should listen to your parents. Sometimes they know what they’re talking about. Sherman Alexie received a 2007 National Book Award for his young-adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown, $16.99). The semi-autobiographical tale—with illustrations by Ellen Forney—follows a young cartoonist who leaves the rez (near Spokane) to attend an all-white school. Cultural identity is a frequent topic for Alexie, who always brings a sharp sense of humor to the art of fitting in and standing out. The Absolutely True Diary follows Nick Hornby into the YA sector in what could be a new trend: offering a familiar voice and fresh perspective on teenage struggles. Seattle Language Academy presents the multifaceted Alexie (also a filmmaker, composer, and poet). Proceeds benefit the Fremont-based nonprofit, which offers classes and workshops in a dozen languages. Cafe Babel, 126 N.W. Canal St., 325-4109, $65. 4 p.m. KATE SILVER

Sun., June 8, 4 p.m., 2008

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