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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007)

by Sherman Alexie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,448765546 (4.28)569
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.
  1. 40
    Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Contemporary fiction about searching for identity
  2. 40
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Othemts)
  3. 53
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (bbudke)
  4. 10
    The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint: A Novel 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. 10
    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
  7. 00
    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
  8. 22
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  9. 11
    Dakota Dream by James W. Bennett (meggyweg)
  10. 00
    Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo (meggyweg)
  11. 00
    Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky (Anonymous user)

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» See also 569 mentions

English (758)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (763)
Showing 1-5 of 758 (next | show all)
Arnold Spirit was born with hydrocephalus, which has made his head more prominent than usual. He is a member of the “black eye of the month club” because he is beaten up frequently. He lives on the Spokane reservation as a member of the Native American tribe. His parents are both alcoholics, and he lives in poverty. His family is like many other families on the reservation, where this is common. The high school on the reservation is underfunded, causing Arnold to decide to transfer to a nearby town’s school instead. That is, this school is in a majority-white farming town. He is suddenly the only Native American student in school. Arnold writes about his struggles to survive in a comedic way. Because the characters are in high school, this would be best for high school readers who are able to comprehend the content.
  SarahFromAmerica | Apr 26, 2022 |
My quest to only read banned books this year continues. While I understand that the references to masturbation and some terminology are a bit inappropriate for some audiences, they are also great ways to have discussions about word choice and appropriateness. Stop banning books.
( )
  GhostDuchess | Apr 8, 2022 |
Writing a review of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie today presents a moral dilemma that would not have been the case just a couple of years ago. There is the book: excellent, well-written, funny, sad, poignant and absolutely authentic both as a book about a young man coming of age and about the experience of being an Indian (the term HE uses) in America.
And, then, there is the man, the author: a married man accused by as many as ten women of sexual harassment and who used his notoriety, some of it based upon this book, to win or attempt to win sexual favors. A particularly reprehensible behavior from someone who knew what it was to be victimized by others with more standing and social currency.
I am a man myself yet I still wonder why so many men are willing to sacrifice so much, including family and happy marriage, based upon thinking done below their belts, yet it is not just that. The wrong does not just arise out of sexual desire, it rises out of being in a society that has so little respect for the dignity and worth of other people. In fact, it exactly the kind of disrespect Alexie himself portrays in this book. Perhaps he should re-read it.
Years ago, when I was in college, I remarked in one of my graduate classes that it was good that we knew so little about Shakespeare because it compelled us to evaluate his work solely on the quality of the work. It is only now, with this author, that I feel the full force of what I was saying.
I wish I didn't know about Alexie's reprehensible conduct. I feel compromised by it and left incapable of issuing an honest yet responsible review of his books.
In the end, I cannot justify in any shape or form his conduct. On the other hand, I think we too often judge the whole of a person based upon their greatest foibles and misconducts.
I leave my 5 star rating based upon the book alone. I offer my comments and moral judgment based upon what I've only now heard Alexie himself admit in an interview. And I award him a negative 5 stars for so horrifically betraying the very essence of the moral theme of the book. ( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
Junior was encouraged by his teacher, Mr.P, to go to school off the reservation, in order to find a more hopeful learning environment. He follows this advise, and this book is an account of his experiences as a Native American attending a mostly white school. He experiences exclusion, and friendship, and everything in between. The books title gives way to part of the theme of this book which is how his experience at the white school making him feel like a "part-time Indian." Junior is a full-blown adolescent, and the author does not shy away from mentioning topics of a sexual nature, nor does he shy away from using language that describe, and reflect the life, and goings-on of an adolescent. I think that this book was wonderfully realistic, and would be incredibly helpful for bringing to light, and using humor for discussing and addressing what could feel like very touchy, or even embarrassing topics that all adolescents go through. This book also covers many issues that are common on the reservation, and could help to provide a connection, and validation for students who are living through, and living in, similar issues, and environments. ( )
  fmatiella1 | Mar 1, 2022 |
Hilarious and heartbreaking, all at the same time. ( )
  tsmom1219 | Feb 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 758 (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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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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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.

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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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Average: (4.28)
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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316013684, 0316013692, 0316068209

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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