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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time…

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

by Sherman Alexie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,194557662 (4.34)406
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, Reviewed
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. 20
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Othemts)
  3. 31
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (bbudke)
  4. 21
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  5. 00
    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
  6. 00
    Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky (Anonymous user)
  7. 00
    Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo (meggyweg)
  8. 11
    Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: There are many similarities of theme, not the least of which are loss and identity.
  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
    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.
  11. 01
    Dakota Dream by James W. Bennett (meggyweg)

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» See also 406 mentions

English (550)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (554)
Showing 1-5 of 550 (next | show all)
This is one of those book that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to run around the neighborhood, yelling at all my neighbors, telling them they to read it too. It is an easy and quick read that made me both laugh and cry. ( )
  EllsbethB | May 9, 2015 |
I had a surprisingly difficult time putting this book down. It's not that it was suspenseful; it was that I just loved Junior (the narrator) and wanted to hear more of what he had to say. He's endearing and hilarious--probably one of my all-time favorite main characters. The story is as touching as it is well-told. Loved it. ( )
  KimHooperWrites | May 6, 2015 |
Summary: A story of a young Indian boy from the reservation and his coming of age. Junior is dealt some serious blows, physically and mentally, as he seeks to discover who he is. Following his academic aspirations may cause him to be kicked out of the reservation, and possibly his racial heritage.

Personal Reaction: One of my recent favorites, this book has it all for me. Junior faces some unique identity challenges, being a child of an Indian reservation. Alexie doesn’t gloss over some tough issues and I feel that is very important to some young readers.

Classroom Extension: Many teens coming of age go through reflection and discovery periods. A doodle in the story depicts Junior and his split identity: half-Indian, half-white. I would have a creative activity where students explore identities that they feel torn between.
  KaitlynBlevins | May 5, 2015 |
This was such a great story! It totally kept me enthralled while driving 8 hours through the night hours. I loved the plot and characters but the author's narration truly made it special. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
"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 | Apr 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 550 (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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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.
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:56 -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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