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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (original 2007; edition 2009)

by Sherman Alexie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,920635523 (4.33)451
Member:Capfox
Title:The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Authors:Sherman Alexie
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2009), Edition: Collectors, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, All books, Reviewed
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, reviewed, young adult

Work details

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

  1. 30
    Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Contemporary fiction about searching for identity
  2. 30
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Othemts)
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    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (bbudke)
  4. 10
    The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall (kiwiflowa)
    kiwiflowa: A similar story for older teens/adults. Edgar is an American Indian orphan coming of age.
  5. 21
    Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: There are many similarities of theme, not the least of which are loss and identity.
  6. 00
    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
  7. 22
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  8. 00
    Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo (meggyweg)
  9. 00
    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
  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 451 mentions

English (628)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (632)
Showing 1-5 of 628 (next | show all)
Excellent book. It makes you appreciate the opportunities you have in life, and feel somewhat ashamed for the ones you've squandered. ( )
  PriPri77 | Jun 23, 2016 |
This book is fantastic!!! I can't say enough about it! This was the first of Alexie's books that I've read, and I was not disappointed. Now I can't wait to get my hands on more books by him! ( )
  pennylane78 | Jun 6, 2016 |
Packs a punch," as the description would have it, could be interpreted in so many ways. I think it's more effective to say that Alexie grabbed the front of my shirt and lifted me close to his face and yelled at me and shook me. Not subtle, ok? Not graceful, either. Kinda tiring. Yeah, I know, it'd be even more tiring to live the lives of Junior and his family & people. And yeah, there was some pretty funny stuff, and plenty of inspiration and hope etc.

So, I can see why it's won awards. I can see why it's hyped. And why it's beloved. But I just think it could have been more effective if it were, oh, I don't know, maybe a bit more like the work of [a:W. P. Kinsella|32549|W.P. Kinsella|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1212093640p2/32549.jpg], for example [b:The Moccasin Telegraph and Other Stories|57764|The Moccasin Telegraph and Other Stories|W.P. Kinsella|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387734051s/57764.jpg|1181691] or [a:Alice Walker|7380|Alice Walker|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1406752585p2/7380.jpg]'s [b:The Color Purple|11486|The Color Purple|Alice Walker|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386925078s/11486.jpg|3300573].

Quick read - 2-3 hours.

"I used to think the world was broken down by tribes. By black and white. By Indian and white. But I know this isn't true. The world is only broken into two tribes: The people who are assholes and the people who are not."

Ok, is that wisdom? Is it plausible a boy just turning 14 would be able to articulate that, to a schoolteacher no less? Or is it a didactic oversimplification?

I did like "I'd never seen a sober adult cry" and "Indians have forgotten that reservations were meant to be death camps."

I did like that Junior was in some ways an ordinary kid, a young teen lusting after pretty girls and drawing of cartoons and worried about bullies. He wasn't just an Indian. There could have been more of that, because, as is, he seemed 'exotic' and 'other' and I personally think that attitude of otherness strongly contributes to an 'us vs them' mentality despite the statements like the one about tribes above.

Overall an important book, but not as wonderful as I'd hoped." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Loved it! Read it in one sitting. I love the humour and the pathos of this book, as it weaves its way through themes such as racism, displaced people, family, friendship, loyalty and betrayal. It’s all the more poignant as it’s a true story.

( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
I started reading this for class, and finished it up on my own. I have to say this is the most I have ever enjoyed a book I read for school.

This book is YA, but it is easily enjoyable by adults as well. In fact, if you have a young adult reader in your home, I recommend you read this before your young adult reader does. I am in no way saying that teenagers shouldn't read this book. But, there are themes in it that would be inappropriate for kids of certain ages if they are too young.

I totally recommend this book for teenagers, as age appropriate, though. Yes, this book is challenged and banned a lot, and I can see why. But this book deals with things that probably every teenager on the planet goes through at some point, in one way or another.

As a parent, though, I related to a couple of things in this book; not from Arthur's point of view, but from his parents' point of view.

Please keep in mind that this book doesn't pull any punches. Sherman Alexie pretty much tells it like it is, and doesn't seem to be afraid of what anyone will think about it...because, after all, he is just saying it like it is. And I completely respect that.

This book had me laughing and tearing up, and it made me disgusted and angry, and I feel like my feelings were on a roller coaster, but it was worth it for this amazing book. ( )
  TheGrandWorldofBooks | May 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 628 (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 editionsconfirmed
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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Some editions, like ISBN 9780316013697, include study guide
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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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