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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007)

by Sherman Alexie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,360738554 (4.3)543
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
  1. 40
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Othemts)
  2. 30
    Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Contemporary fiction about searching for identity
  3. 53
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (bbudke)
  4. 10
    The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint: A Novel by Brady Udall (kiwiflowa)
    kiwiflowa: A similar story for older teens/adults. Edgar is an American Indian orphan coming of age.
  5. 10
    A Step From Heaven by An Na (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: Different in feel altogether from Diary, but also another good novel about entering and adjusting to predominantly white-American culture
  6. 21
    Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: There are many similarities of theme, not the least of which are loss and identity.
  7. 00
    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
  8. 22
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  9. 00
    Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo (meggyweg)
  10. 00
    Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky (Anonymous user)
  11. 01
    Dakota Dream by James W. Bennett (meggyweg)

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» See also 543 mentions

English (729)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (733)
Showing 1-5 of 729 (next | show all)
Wonderful, hilarious, heartbreaking, story of a teenage Indian boys’ life. The characters are well written. The story moves fast and you don’t want to put it down. ( )
  caanderson | Jul 19, 2020 |
Perfect for a high school library that wants to add more titles that depict true life on an Indian reservation. Quick book that reads like a true account of a teen boy. Arnold lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation, yet attends an all-white high school in a nearby farm town, and deals with issues related to his hydrocephalus, bullying, alcoholism, poverty, and racial divides. ( )
  SarahLaase | Jul 7, 2020 |
Such a sad but at the same time, extremely uplifting story. Arthur is such a determined young kid who knows that leaving his family and the life he has know all his life is the only way to move forward. He struggles with new challenges while going to a new school but he continues to persevere. He acknowledges that what has been done to his tribe is atrocious but he knows that he can change his life. Everyone should be this determined and brave to make a better life for themselves. ( )
  KeriLynneD | Jul 3, 2020 |
I resisted reading this for a while, because I'm scared of reading young adult fiction, but this is really good. It really captures something about being young (like highschool freshman) and alienated. The style is light-hearted and welcoming while the content is dark and full of real substance. You will be tearing up a little over this really powerful description of isolation and alienation and then he's talking about boners and farts and jerking off in the same sentence. Good stuff! ( )
  Jetztzeit | May 15, 2020 |
Not normally drawn to Young Adult fiction, I am shocked myself I liked this as much as I did. The singular feat which Alexie pulls off so deftly in this novel is the creation of a unique, unabashed character that brings you into a rich and vivid world using different textures of information. By establishing the narrator as a ballsy cartoonist so early on it opens up the pathway for Alexie to write as if he was really a 14-year-old (I'm thinking specifically about the masturbation bit) who is hyper aware of his surroundings. Junior is blunt about alcoholism on his rez, racism at school, and complex relationships between whites and Native Americans in rural communities. If I had kids I would make them read this book with me. But I don't, so maybe you should? ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 729 (next | show all)
Working in the voice of a 14-year-old forces Alexie to strip everything down to action and emotion, so that reading becomes more like listening to your smart, funny best friend recount his day while waiting after school for a ride home.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sherman Alexieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Forney, EllenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There is another world, but it is in this one. --W.B. Yeats
For Wellpinit and Reardon, my hometowns
First words
I was born with water on the brain. Okay, so that's not exactly true. I was actually born with too much cerebral spinal fluid inside my skull. But cerebral spinal fluid is just the doctors' fancy way of saying brain grease.
"No, I'm serious. I always knew you were going to leave. I always knew you were going to leave us behind and travel the world. I had this dream about you a few months ago. You were standing on the Great Wall of China. You looked happy. And I was happy for you."
During one week when I was little, Dad got stopped three times for DWI: Driving While Indian.
“Son,” Mr. P. said. “You’re going to find more and more hope the farther and farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation.”
I'd always been the lowest Indian on the reservation totem pole-- I wasn't expected to be good so I wasn't. But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so I became good.
"I used to think the world was broken down by tribes," I said. "By black and white. By Indian and white. But I know that isn't true. The world is only broken into two tribes. The people who are assholes and the people who are not."
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Book description
Jr is struggling with being a poor Indian. He is given the opportunity to leave the reservation and start a new life outside of the Native American culture. And thus the story goes from chapter to chapter. This books crosses cultures of the Native American and Reardan, a white/christian culture in a rural setting. This story can be used on many fronts in a classroom. Racism, culture boundaries, friendship(Rowdy, Penelope), and having the ability to change your life. A great story with a lot of possibilities in a classroom.
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