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

by Sherman Alexie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,875533712 (4.34)372
Member:Mardel
Title:The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Authors:Sherman Alexie
Info:
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. 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 372 mentions

English (528)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (532)
Showing 1-5 of 528 (next | show all)
This was a young adult book that I picked up. It was a fast read with illustrations that would appeal to teenagers. Good message and realistic characters. ( )
  janismack | Oct 2, 2014 |
This book is REAL. And this book is amazing. And that is probably why this book is on the most-banned list. Because things that are real and amazing get attention and scare people. The sad thing is, EVERYONE should read this book to open their minds to a different way of life, and also to understand their own life and the world better. I laughed many times reading this book; I also cried. This book is about hope, and it is about despair. That pretty much describes life! And there you go...THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN is a straight-spoken, upfront look at life, particularly on an Indian reservation.

The main character in this book is a 14-year-old young man who was born with "water on the brain," survived against great odds, and is determined not to lose hope on the Indian reservation that is his home. There is bad language, rampant alcoholism, and references to burgeoning sexual feelings, but there is nothing that is written that doesn't sound familiar to anyone who is attending, or has attended, high school. You will relate to this book on some level.

My favorite scene speaks to everyone:
"You can do it," Coach said.
"I can do it."
"You can do it."
"I can do it."
Do you understand how amazing it is to hear that from an adult? Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from anybody? It's one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they're the four hugest words in the world when they're put together.


I have marked 22 other places in this book where I found amazing insight into humanity. This is a book that should change your life and your way of thinking. At the least, it should make you more aware of the challenges that people face in their everyday survival.
( )
  stephanie.croaning | Sep 28, 2014 |
This is the book I was looking for earlier in the year when I bought Flight instead. Purchased at Grand Rapids downtown Schuler's when I was going out of my mind with boredom after spending all day at the Children's Museum with Jefferson. Luckily, I remembered seeing this store when we parked so I left Jefferson with Andrew and made a quick dash for some intellectual salvation. Unfortunately, while it was a Schuler's it was primarily a downtown bookstore -- the selection sucked. Heavy on book club fare and current events, very light on everything else. Nothing interesting in any featured section, so I started on my list of reliable authors. Was very pleased to find this in paperback.

Anyway, so Diary is a young adult novel about a bright boy who -- to put it bluntly -- is having his soul beaten out of him by the atrocious quality of the rez educational system. Finally a teacher tells him he has to get out before he gives up like everyone else on the rez. Which is how he ends up going to an all-white school 20 miles down the road (also his school's athletic arch-rival.)

It's a great introduction to Alexie and his sharp class and race observations -- and I've been using it as such, trying to get more reading friends hooked on him. Easy to read, the illustrations are wonderful (the narrator is a cartoonist), and dark, but not too dark -- it's really the perfect introduction. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
I wanted to give this book four stars because it wasn't one of my absolute favorites but I couldn't bring myself to give it less than a 4.5 star rating. Excellently written, hilarious throughout and kept me entertained from start to almost finish. The ending was a bit happy go lucky for me but I realize this was written for a teen audience. I enjoyed the laughter the book started off with and I think it would have been a bit better if the humor continued throughout. Overall a great book that I would recommend to almost anybody who likes a laughter filled, coming of age story. Read it! ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Should be read by everyone for the lessons, the perspective and the pure reading pleasure of it. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 528 (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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:56 -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 3 descriptions

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