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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
10,902784563 (4.28)572
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. 50
    Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Contemporary fiction about searching for identity
  2. 50
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Othemts)
  3. 63
    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. 32
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  7. 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
  8. 00
    There There by Tommy Orange (teelgee)
  9. 00
    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
  10. 11
    Dakota Dream by James W. Bennett (meggyweg)
  11. 00
    Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo (meggyweg)
  12. 00
    Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky (Anonymous user)

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» See also 572 mentions

English (773)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (778)
Showing 1-5 of 773 (next | show all)
Funny, tragic, and surprisingly deep and insightful for a "kids' book."

Edit: On a second and third read-through (I taught this book this year), there's even more to unpack. The book is much more carefully and deliberately written than I'd first given it credit for, and Alexie puts a lot of contrasting thematic elements into play. ( )
  Synopsis2486 | May 15, 2023 |
Junior is a 14-year old Native American living on the reservation with his family. His loving and supportive parents and grandmother are an exception to the rule on the "rez" and Junior starts to see his future as already written. With the encouragement of a teacher who sees his potential, Junior realises that he doesn't want to be stuck in the same poverty with the same people falling into despair and alcoholism. He makes a radical decision to switch to a school off the rez. Due to his thick glasses, skinny body, and big head, Junior is already a bit of an outsider but this decision will test the limits of his friendships and will turn him into the titular "part-time Indian" who feels he doesn't quite fit in on the rez or at the white school he attends.

Junior life is not an easy one but he navigates it with courage and a strong sense of humour and he finds his release through drawing. Filled with both heart-breaking and comical anecdotes, this semi-autobiographical novel by Coeur d'Alene Native American Sherman Alexie is powerful and poignant.

This was the @badass.book.bitches pick of the month for July and I'll admit that I wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. I did enjoy reading it but despite some 'adult' themes (poverty, racism, alcoholism, child abuse, death) I was always quite aware that it was a young adult novel. I find absolutely nothing wrong with reading YA literature as an adult but there are novels that bridge the gap a bit more. The writing here felt geared towards younger people and that left me feeling a little flat in places where I thought I'd have stronger emotions.

My rating is based on reading it as a YA novel as was intended. Overall it was a supremely easy read and I found myself very much rooting for Junior along the way. ( )
  Jess.Stetson | Apr 4, 2023 |
SLJ Book of the Year
  vashonpatty | Feb 22, 2023 |
SLJ Book of the Year!
  vashonpatty | Feb 22, 2023 |
SLJ Book of the Year!
  vashonpatty | Feb 22, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 773 (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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