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

by Sherman Alexie

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7,441658470 (4.32)479
Member:matthewwalther
Title:The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Authors:Sherman Alexie
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
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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.
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    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
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    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo (meggyweg)
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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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    Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky (Anonymous user)
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    Dakota Dream by James W. Bennett (meggyweg)
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» See also 479 mentions

English (653)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All (657)
Showing 1-5 of 653 (next | show all)
This as been one of my favorite chapter books to read this semester. There were two things I liked most about the book; the humor and the illustrations. The True Diary dealt with a lot of what people may call adult issues such as death. Despite that, it didn't shy away from using humor, even in the moment. A good example of this is when Junior is describing his grandmother's funeral and talks about a white man who told this great story about meeting Jrs. grandmother that turned out to be completely fake. Funerals are written as sad, somber experiences, but this funeral, while sad, wasn't all that somber. The other thing that I love about this book is the use of illustrations throughout the book. It really grabbed my attention and brought me further into the mind of Jr. This is important because by becoming closer with the main character, students will begin to care about what happens to him. This will keep kids interested and motivated to read the book!
The message of the story is that you can be a member of more than one culture and that you don't have to choose between one part of yourself and another. Jr struggles with trying to figure out where he fits in and who he is. By following his wants and needs and being hopeful about the future, Jr was able to overcome his struggles, and that's something that students of all ages should be taught is possible. ( )
  jserin2 | Apr 24, 2017 |
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is an autobiographical novel depicting a fourteen year old's life on a reservation and his attendance at an affluent, predominately white school. I truly enjoyed this book for three reasons: the hilarity employed throughout, the insight into reservation life and the ability for the reader to relate to the main character. Alexie employs humor to lessen the magnitude of the heavy issues covered in this book. Issues such as racism, bullying, addiction, death, and poverty are addressed with great sense of humor and hilarious cartoons. The insight into life on a reservation is one that will endow the reader with a better understanding of the struggles American Indians encounter. A reader can relate with this book in a variety of ways, especially a high school reader. Many can connect with issues of eating disorders, bullying, poverty and alcoholism. This book offers an example of a way to navigate those issues. In relation to those rough topics, the book emphasizes the importance of good friendships, parental support, tolerance, education, courage, initiative, and perseverance. The book provides an extremely relatable protagonist who is a positive, smart, courageous kid. ( )
  mkenne29 | Apr 23, 2017 |
I like this book for three reasons. The first reason I like this book is because the writing is well organized. Each chapter has a title that corresponds with the text, which helped me understand the purpose for each chapter. The second reason I like this book is because it is written in first person. This makes the book more engaging because the main character uses humor when speaking to the audience. The third reason I like this book is because It makes readers think about the effects of bullying and abuse. The main character clearly states his feelings towards alcohol, violence, and bullying because he is often the person being picked on. Readers get a first hand experience, which some readers may relate to. The big idea of this book is that a adolescent boy faces bullies, violence, racism, alcoholism, and many more obstacles to find strength in himself. ( )
  hhilse1 | Apr 17, 2017 |
Time magazine called this one of the best children's books of all time so i thought i would try it. I had no idea it was considered a children's book nor did i have an idea what the book was about before I bought it.

Arnold, also known as Junior, tells the story of his life on the Indian reservation (the part time Indian of the title) and his life at the all white high school (the life on the outside.) Arnold is a very reliable narrator and tells the story of his life with unvarnished truth, humor and insight that most adults don't have. The book brings out strong emotion in the reader - i grinned at some of the cartoons, i cried at some of the situations and felt proud at his accomplishments. Whenever i read 'children's' books, i am always amazed at the honest portrayals of life and the straight forward language the authors use. It evokes raw emotion in the reader.

I don't know any native Americans and know about reservations only from what i have read. The author, Alexi Sherman, is a native American and he speaks out very courageously about the pitfalls that exist for those that live on the reservations. I think this is part of the reason Arnold seems so realistic and believable.

Don't left the 'children's ' label fool you - there is more emotion in this book than many of the literary fiction that is out there today. ( )
  mfbarry | Apr 15, 2017 |
Sherman Alexie puts his life experiences on the reserve into the book "The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" which is about a boy named Junior who leaves his high school on the rez to go to an all white high school off the rez. The conflicts in the rez and outside the rez all play into Junior's life. The cartoons add to the humorous personality of the main character, Arnold Spirit Jr. Junior's self image of himself was a dorky, big-headed and awkward boy changes from his first illustration to his last. His last illustration of himself is quite realistic as he jumps into the river with Rowdy. The dramatic change of how he viewed himself is a good way to show readers that self-image is something created within the person. Therefore, having confidence helps with how others also view you as well. Junior gains his confidence when he goes to the school off the rez and joins the basketball team. The book also shines light on how life on the rez is rough and how that particular environment could oppress a person. Junior was able to overcome the oppression and bullying with resistance and grit even though once he got to Reardan he knew he was different. His two identities of Reardan and being an Native American clashes. This clash of identities at the basketball game can be relatable to many readers that have any opposing identities. Therefore, the illustrations are utilized to add to the humorous tone of the main character, the start and end of how Junior views himself changes in a positive way as he overcomes the man-made oppression against his identity, and the clashing of identities that readers can relate with are all part of the comical and entertaining book. ( )
  sryoo1 | Apr 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 653 (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.
 
Ok, so I know this book is a classic and my daughter had to read it for school. So, I decided to listen to it on audio while I was driving in my car. The author narrated the book and I hated the way he spoke and the voices he used. They seemed whiny and annoying most of the time. I am certain this affected the way I felt about the book.

The story was touching, funny and heartbreaking at times. It seemed a bit too pushy with the "all Indians are drunks" thing and that sort of bothered me. But, the main character, Junior, is inspirational in that he decides he wants something better for himself and takes the chance to go to an all white school to find it. He is brave, crazy, stupid, and funny all at the same time. Leaving the reservation to go to a different school is huge and causes a lot of turmoil in Junior's life, but he struggles through it.

In my opinion, if you are interested in this book, skip the audio and just read it yourself. :)
 

» 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."
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Some editions, like ISBN 9780316013697, include study guide
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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)

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