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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
6,677613561 (4.33)441
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
Collections:Your library

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. 21
    Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: There are many similarities of theme, not the least of which are loss and identity.
  4. 32
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (bbudke)
  5. 22
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  6. 00
    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
  7. 00
    Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky (Anonymous user)
  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
    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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Showing 1-5 of 607 (next | show all)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


Arnold Spirit is a disable high schooler living on a reservation (rez as he calls it) who choose to switch to an all-while school off the reservation in hopes of a better education and to spread his wings. It’s a tough life full of struggle, finding ways to the school 22 miles away (due to lack of money), bullying, alcoholism, and many other things you’d hope a 14 year old never has to go through – but let’s admit it, many do.

I wasn’t sure how I would like this book. YA books are very hit or miss for me but I couldn’t help but notice a pile of the books at my library (turned out to be for a discussion the library was holding with the author, which I sadly missed). But I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I could relate to the character – to an extent anyway, being of Native American descent, but never on a reservation – and I couldn’t help but like him. I can see how many teenagers could relate to him, regardless of race. It didn’t seem like the book was going to be overly serious at first but it definitely took a turn towards that as the story continued. Life is not easy for this kid but he keeps chugging along and you have to admire him for that. It’s a book about adversity and change, about friendship and family, and about surviving it all through good and bad.

It was a good book and I enjoyed the illustrations given it the book, giving it a whole new dimension to the characters. A quick read, only took me a couple days and definitely worth it to me.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is my third time reading this one, and I swear it just gets better each time. Of course, a third reading also follows Gordy's reasoning on how to really know a book, so there's something.

I just love Arnold Spirit, Jr. He's such a funny, insightful character. You just truly hope for the best things in the world to happen to him, and are heartbroken along with him when things go wrong. And his illustrations throughout are a wonderful touch. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Feb 7, 2016 |
I love Sherman Alexie, and I think his cross-over into YA is a lucky thing for the youth of the world. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
I love Sherman Alexie, and I think his cross-over into YA is a lucky thing for the youth of the world. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
I love Sherman Alexie, and I think his cross-over into YA is a lucky thing for the youth of the world. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 607 (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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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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