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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
11,746798560 (4.27)583
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. 73
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (bbudke)
  4. 41
    Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: There are many similarities of theme, not the least of which are loss and identity.
  5. 20
    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.
  6. 20
    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
    Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo (meggyweg)
  8. 11
    Dakota Dream by James W. Bennett (meggyweg)
  9. 00
    Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky (Anonymous user)
  10. 33
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  11. 00
    Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (mysterymax)
  12. 00
    There There by Tommy Orange (teelgee)

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» See also 583 mentions

English (789)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (795)
Showing 1-5 of 789 (next | show all)
The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian is told from the perspective a 14-year-old boy and thus it is a quick, breezy read. It is in turns very funny and very tragic. Our protagonist Arnold is an intriguing character, an Indian, born with severe health problems, who goes off the reservation to attend a white high school. Finding himself to be an outsider in both worlds, Arnold goes through many trials and travails until he finds a way to bridge that divide and become accepted in both worlds. The fantastic cartoons by Ellen Forney enhance the book and the story terrifically. Part-Time Indian is a very good book, fun, entertaining, thought-provoking, that showed to me a world of which I have very little knowledge. ( )
  LordSlaw | May 20, 2024 |
*Edit* 4 stars, down from 5. I originally gave this book a 5 but as I was thinking about it this morning, I realized that I wasn't that impressed with it. My inner dialoged was "well, I read it", not "what a great book! I'm so glad I finally read it! Why did I wait so long??". More like I had just checked it off my list.

*Another edit* 3 stars down from 4. Thinking back, I felt compelled to rate this high because Sherman Alexie is a Native American author and there was almost an expectation that I give this a high rating. Now I'm thinking that...I don't know...I feel that the book was not all that great. I read it and I've decided that I don't need/want to read anymore of his books.

I grew up on a reservation and so I was able to relate to many of the things he described, that's why initially I gave it a 5. I am more white than Native but my Reservation is home to two tribes that were traditional enemies. I went to a Catholic school on the other side of the rez so got discrimination as an Indian kid, a white kid and a kid from the enemy tribe! I didn't know any better, but it sucked. One thing that stands out to me now is that I was a rich kid by rez standards, but when I went to the white high school, I was a poor kid by white standards.

It was a fast read (for me anyway, it takes me forever to read books). It wasn't laugh-out-loud but there were enough moments and lots of things I think were "inside joke" funny. ( )
  tokenn | Feb 6, 2024 |
This is a very popular book that comes highly recommended from many quarters and it's strength is the voice of the main character, Junior, as he negotiates the two separate worlds he finds himself in. While I found some of the middle a big bogged down, but the eloquence of the end, the deep tragedies, and the complexity of the characters make this a very compelling book. ( )
  mslibrarynerd | Jan 13, 2024 |
It's been awhile since I have read a book that could make me laugh out loud, cry, get angry, feel depressed, and feel hope one after the other. ( )
  Dances_with_Words | Jan 6, 2024 |
Wow. I've always been a big Sherman Alexie fan and this may be my favorite book of his yet. Following the advice of Gordy, though, I have to read it two more times before I can really say I've read it. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 789 (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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