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

by Sherman Alexie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,270647490 (4.32)471
Member:Mardel
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
Rating:*****
Tags:Young Adult, reservation life, Native American, Teens, Racism, Bullying, family dysfunction, alcoholism, death, b-ball

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)
  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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Showing 1-5 of 642 (next | show all)
It's really hard to pinpoint exactly what I loved the most about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; I am certain that Sherman Alexie's amazing story will stay with me for a very long time. The Absolutely True Diary, did what I enjoy most about reading; it took me on a journey that I would never have experienced and opened my eyes to a different perspective on life as well as a different culture.

Junior is one of the smallest kids on his reservation, he had to fight for his life since his birth and he's never stopped fighting. When he decides to leave the reservation school and attend a school in town, he was immediately faced with opposition from the people on the reservation - including his best friend and protector.

I found the story to be well written and engaging, I was swept into Junior's world and felt his pain and cried tears for the struggles that he faced. I love his characterization, he is the type of character that readers can fully invest in and stand behind.

The other great thing about this novel is the amount of discussion points that it raises, there are a lot of tough topics that parents might initially want to shield their children from, but the fact that children are faced with these issues every day does not escape me and I loved the real way that Sherman Alexie portrayed this on the pages of his book.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is one of those books that you will find yourself rereading again and again just to grasp the richness of the story. I'm certain this will become a classic. ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
It was really sad I almost cried about 3 times. It seems everyone dies I wouldn't recommend it, most of it was him moping and saying things were really bad for him and the rest of the Native Americans. Well people know that there is poverty but they don't want to read about it, cause it's boring. I didn't like ti at all. ( )
  Brinlie.Jill.Searle | Nov 22, 2016 |
This is one book that I feel like I missed out on reading during my high school years, and I’ve always been sad about it; I’ve even owned a copy for at least 3 years, and I still wasn’t able to read it until recently, so finishing this was somewhat of a personal accomplishment for me. Not because it’s such a hard book or anything, but because this is a recent classic that I’ve been wanting to read for so long. It feels especially close to me, because while I am very much not related to any Native Americans, my grandfather lived in Spokane, WA for almost all his life, and he even lived on the Spokane reservation with his girlfriend for a large part of his later life, so it’s interesting to get a sense of the place my grandfather called home.

First, I have to say that this book is lovely. It’s about a boy named Junior who lives on the Indian reservation in Spokane, and he decides to go to the “white” high school to try to build a future for himself. I was able to read through it quickly because it’s a pretty easy read and it is so, so entertaining and hits on some very real, true-life events that were inspired by Alexie’s own life. It’s wonderful that this book is out there for teens to read when they’re feeling like an outsider, because the main character is pretty much the ultimate outsider in a lot of ways and reading about his feelings about that and how he deals with it is somehow comforting.

What makes this Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian a success is the fact that it covers everything. It’s funny and yet incredibly heartbreaking, reflecting real life in a way that most stories don’t even come close to, which I think is a reflection of its large autobiographical influence. It comes across as honest and genuine, which is something that is lacking in fiction sometimes, and which YA fiction especially needs. The illustrations are an added bonus and give further insight into Junior’s character and his overall mood at the time he’s “writing” his diary entries. They’re incorporated well and I loved reading Forney’s explanations for why each illustration was done the way it was.

There’s a reason why this is such a classic, and I don’t know what I can say that others haven’t, except that I personally liked this a lot and think it belongs on the must-read lists of everyone, because it is such a powerful, wonderful story.

Originally posted on Going on to the Next. ( )
  sedelia | Nov 15, 2016 |
My grandma and I always listen to audiobooks when we go to an aunt's house. This was our Thanksgiving audiobook. I always like it when the author reads the book themselves, and Sherman Alexie is no exception. He does a great job. The story itself was a little more depressing than I was expecting, but I guess that shouldn't be too surprising given that it is about a poor family living on a reservation. It just seemed like tragedy after tragedy happened. Junior/Arnold couldn't catch a break. He did learn how to make his own way, though. And that's the important part of a YA book. I have a paper copy of the book too, and I recommend looking at one since throughout the book Junior is drawing cartoons and diagrams, which are printed in the paper copy. I'm not sure how much of this book is factual, but it definitely felt true. ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
I loved this book I could eat it so! I read this in one sitting at the bar. I started reading it during commercials during the Colts game but soon it became apparent that this was waay better. I literally could not put it down and devoured this in two hours. I already want to re-read it. It made me laugh out loud and snigger multiple times and also made me tear up. Junior's observations about growing up on the rez, racism, basketballs, girls, being poor, best friends, and alcoholism are revalatory. The accompanying illustrations only add to the story. This is a book I will buy and most definitely re-read. A wonderful, fascinating, and heartbreaking look at life on an Indian reservation. Partially based on the author's childhood experiences, you can't but help to root for this kid. A wonderful young adult novel and very deserving of the National Book Award it received. ( )
  ecataldi | Oct 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 642 (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."
Last words
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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)

» see all 5 descriptions

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