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

by Sherman Alexie

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7,546666457 (4.32)490
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)
  3. 32
    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 490 mentions

English (661)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All (665)
Showing 1-5 of 661 (next | show all)
Funny, with some sharp and painful truths tucked among the silliness. So, basically like eating a ball of crushed glass dipped in chocolate. One more, please.

Recommended reading for anyone's who's struggled with a hyphenated identity, and especially if you've tasted poverty and/or grief. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
Sherman Alexie has long since been one of my favorite authors. This book in particular touches on some pretty heavy topics - racism, discrimination (for race and for disability), poverty, the feeling of not belonging, deaths in the family, sexuality. Junior meanders through his first year of high school discussing things in the voice of a 14-year-old kid with too much intelligence and not enough money. One's heart aches for the narrator while he goes through the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of an early teenager who is walking down a path that no one in his family - or his community - has walked before, which in turn both scares and awes said family and community. All in all, the voice and characterization of the book was phenomenal, though the nature of the book (being a "diary" of sorts) make the story choppy, only hitting on "major" events that warrant writing about. You don't see a lot of day-to-day in Junior's life.
This book is appropriate for high school aged readers. No graphic violence, some mentions of sex, and some graphic language. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Alexie
5 stars

“The world is divided by two different tribes. The people who are assholes and the people who are not.”

“If you care about something enough, it’s going to make you cry. But you have to use it. Use your tears. Use your pain. Use your fear. Get mad. Arnold, get mad.”


So this is what a banned book looks like. I wish I’d known about this book when it was published in 2007. Sadly, it was not something that came to the attention of a first grade teacher. That’s really too bad, because my son was 12 or 13 around then, and still very much affected by the death of his father and grandfather. This book would have been useful. It might still be useful.

I think this book could also be a useful counterpoint in discussions of Thirteen Reasons Why. Junior is a kid with a lot of good reasons to quit; poverty, physical disability, family history of depression and alcoholism, multiple deaths of family members.There is nothing fair about the life he’s been given. But he doesn’t quit. He does something drastic to improve his chances of having a better life. He expresses himself with his art and he makes lists of the people and things that give him joy. He fights back.

He’s also a teenaged boy. He’s crude. He uses foul language. He masturbates. Is this a new story? It is not. It makes this character a believable human being. Banning the book can’t change the human message. But, as Sherman Alexie has commented in interviews, it certainly increased his sales. More power to him. ( )
  msjudy | Jun 7, 2017 |
There is a one line review from Publishers Weekly on the back of my copy that claims this book is the "Native American equivalent of [b:Angela's Ashes|252577|Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)|Frank McCourt|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1348317139s/252577.jpg|2883783]." To be quite frank, I'm not really sure you could sum it up any better than that. It's really relateable across race though. Not all of it, necessarily, but certain aspects. It speaks to what we all want, deep down: acceptance and happiness. I would most certainly recommend this book to any high school student who doesn't feel like they fit in. Hell, I'd recommend it to any high school student... any adult for that matter. Read it. it's a damn good book. ( )
  cebellol | Jun 6, 2017 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 661 (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."
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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.
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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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