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

by Sherman Alexie

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6,243569647 (4.34)411
Member:firstperson
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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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 411 mentions

English (564)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (568)
Showing 1-5 of 564 (next | show all)
Pair with "Brown Girl Dreaming," "Inside out and Back Again." ( )
  nickietravis | Jul 26, 2015 |
Very moving young adult novel, with cartoons by the narrator. 14 year boy living on an res tells a very touching story of his freshman year going to high school. Love and death and growth. I cried. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Recommended by Deborah Lynch and Jennifer Quimbey
Older students
  RhondaHoward | Jul 22, 2015 |
When is a YA novel not truly a YA novel? Perhaps when it transcends the conventions of the genre to become a pointed critique of race and socioeconomic class. Or when it is written with such honesty and humor that it feels (absolutely) true rather than fictional. Or when the book is done and you think, “I want to stay in this book some more!” Sherman Alexie’s novel achieves of all these ends and more.

Narrated by Arnold/Junior Spirit, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” defies classification. It is most assuredly semi-autobiographical, its opening lines recall that most classic Bildungsroman “David Copperfield” (whereas David was born with a mystical caul, Junior was born “with water on the brain”), and the story is told through both words and illustrations, although it is not actually a graphic narrative.

The hybrid nature of the story reflects Arnold/Junior’s hybrid identity. Although it would be quite pointless to try to trace a typical “plot” within this book, Arnold/Junior’s stories create a narrative synergy that resonates with meaning and truth. It might be most accurate to sum up the “plot” of this narrative by describing it as Arnold/Junior’s quest for his identity—and he often comments upon this very issue throughout his journey from the rez in Wellpinit to his high school in the white town of Reardan, the “hometowns” to which Alexie dedicates the book. But the book is so much more than that, as it poignantly depicts the struggles of Junior’s entire community and the multiple demons—poverty, alcoholism, hopelessness—that confront them every day.

Despite the grim nature of many of the events in the novel, Alexie imbues the tale with a genuine sense of joy and hope. This book is a monumental achievement, suitable for all readers, YA or otherwise. ( )
  jimrgill | Jul 21, 2015 |
2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, 2008 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Fiction and Poetry. 9th grade English choice book.
  CindyMcClain | Jul 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 564 (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)

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