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

by Sherman Alexie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,488663461 (4.32)480
Member:dordahsa
Title:The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Authors:Sherman Alexie
Info:Little, Brown Young Readers (2007), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Culture, Native American, Spokane Indian, Fiction, Semi-Autobiography, Young Adult, Coming of Age, Racism, Alcoholism, Death, Perseverance, Humor, National Book Award, Poverty, Basketball, Cartoons, Family

Work details

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

  1. 30
    Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
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    The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall (kiwiflowa)
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  5. 21
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    whymaggiemay: There are many similarities of theme, not the least of which are loss and identity.
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    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
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» See also 480 mentions

English (657)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All (661)
Showing 1-5 of 657 (next | show all)
I'm not really sure what put Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian" on my radar. It isn't my normal type of book and perhaps for that reason, I really wasn't thrilled with it. Overall, I found the book to be okay (and one that I will likely have completely forgotten in a year or two.)

The book tells the story of Arnold Spirit, a Native American boy who decides, for no particular discernible reason, to attend an all-white high school. The story is supposed to be a coming of age type story where Arnold (or Junior as he's called on the reservation) comes to terms with the person he is.

Unfortunately, I really didn't connect with Arnold at all -- his character felt too wooden to me -- he didn't actually experience things, he just told you about them and listed a feeling he was supposed to have. I felt the story itself was well-plotted and interesting, but ultimately I didn't find the book all that enjoyable or enlightening. ( )
  amerynth | May 16, 2017 |
A quick read about a young Native American boy who decides to "escape" the Rez he's from by switching to a more affluent school 20 miles away. I found a lot of the humor (while crude and aimed towards a younger demographic) really resonated with me (KFC seems to be a delicacy on all Rezs). I think I would like to read Alexies adult works. ( )
  SadieRuin | May 16, 2017 |
I enjoyed this far more than I expected to. When a dozen copies were donated to my library a few years ago, I had to research whether they were appropriate for the K-8 library I work for. The reviews led me to believe I would thoroughly dislike this book and so held off on it for much longer than I should have. I wish that the author had censored himself with the needless vulgarities and lewdness that litter the book without adding to it - he could have far extended his readship if he'd done so. Some of it felt a bit rascist - playing off modern stereotypes of American Indians (violence, alcoholism, etc), but I can't speak to the factual-ness of these things. ( )
  benuathanasia | May 5, 2017 |
Good story, great cultural tension, big issues drawn close to home. But it didn't quite sparkle (for me) -- probably just because of how young adult and male it felt to me. ( )
  pammab | May 4, 2017 |
I enjoyed this book because of expressive language and engaging illustrations. This book by Sherman Alexie tells an eye-opening story that helps it, readers, to better understand what life is like for someone who is Native American. Although the main character faced many challenges he did find his way and learned to persevere one quote I found in the book that stuck with me is: “If you're good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can't be wrong.”. I think Sherman Alexie sends a good message to children that anyone can relate to. But, it is important to note the strong language used throughout the book which helps to build the overall tone of the book. Parents should be aware of the language used because it is mature for young children. ( )
  epugli2 | May 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 657 (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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Epigraph
There is another world, but it is in this one. --W.B. Yeats
Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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."
Last words
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316013692, Paperback)

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie's YA debut, released in hardcover to instant success, recieving seven starred reviews, hitting numerous bestseller lists, and winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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