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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
9,742746551 (4.29)548
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 548 mentions

English (741)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (745)
Showing 1-5 of 741 (next | show all)
Do you remember the book that really changed the game for you? This was the book that rocked my world and changed my perspective on a lot of the things I had previously learned in my time as a k-12 student. Junior "Arnold" Spirit has to overcome poverty, bullying, alcoholism, family deaths, and domestic issues on the home front while growing up in the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State. Through all of these enormous losses and trials, Junior manages to keep his head up and add humor to keep himself going. Junior faces more in his young life than most priviliged kids ever will. He suffers from lingering affects of brain damage, hence why he is bullied, yet he still powers on. The illustrations in this book really enhance Alexie's story. I can picture who is being described much clearer, and each image just helps strengthen the understanding of Junior's mind and story. I don't respect banning books and never will. I understand Alexie has done some bad things, which is not ok, but I don't believe this book should be banned on those merits. This book was taught to me alongside other banned books, and I will forever recommend this book to young adults because it is such a powerful, well-written and illustrated testimant to what Native Americans face today. Diverse authors and their books deserve more attention than they get. I was truly coming of age when I first discovered this book, and it helped me become aware of just how important reading truly was to me, and always would be. ( )
  briana_gagnon | Jun 10, 2021 |
Loved this book. I get now why it's been challenged so often in schools. I don't approve of those challenges, but I see where they came from. (NB: parent your own child(ren), not anyone else's. )

Arnold/Junior had such a real voice. My heart broke for him over and over. I hadn't known that it's semi-autobiographical, which makes it even more poignant. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
Overall, this was a very deep and emotional book to read. I believe it is a great piece of reading for young adolescents and teenagers to see historic struggles and understand the meaning of suffering and overcoming. In this book we read the story of Alexie and his painful life on an Indian reservation. Despite the realism of daily struggles, he maintains a sense of humor. He endured struggles with physical health, mental health, loss of loved ones, discrimination, and much more, but he pushes forward in his journey to be an example for us all. He longs for a better existence and teaches the reader about his struggles and experiences. ( )
  RoaneRayL | Mar 26, 2021 |
Audiobook narrated by the author. Illustrations by Ellen Forney.

This young adult novel tells the story of Junior Spirit, a Spokane Indian living on the reservation with his parents and older sister. Junior was born with hydrocephalus and has some lingering effects of brain damage, but he’s a good student, a talented artist and a pretty good basketball player. A mishap at school leads his teacher to tell Junior that he needs to get off the reservation and find his future elsewhere, and thus begins his journey.

I loved this book. I could not help but think of all the kids out there like Junior – kids with limited abilities in one aspect, but extraordinary abilities in other aspects. Kids who just need someone to believe in them, and for an adult to step in to stop the bullying and give them a chance to grow and excel.

Things do not go smoothly for Junior just because he decides – and is supported by his parents in this decision – to attend the white high school off the reservation. He loses his best friend as a result. He’s bullied and ostracized at his new school. He is under tremendous social pressure due to his poverty and his efforts to hide that poverty from his classmates. His family remains dysfunctional, with parents who drink to excess, and multiple deaths among those he loves. But he never gives up. He is determined to succeed and to make the most of the opportunity he has.

The audiobook is narrated by Alexie and I cannot imagine anyone else doing a better job. Outstanding!

NOTE: The text version I got was the 10th anniversary edition and had supplemental information, including an interview with the author, an early draft of the first chapter, a draft of a possible sequel focusing on Rowdy, an interview with the illustrator, and a heart-breaking eulogy to Alexie’s childhood friend (and the model for Rowdy). Greatly enjoyed this additional info (which was not included on the audio) and it made me appreciate the book even more.

Additionally, I am fully aware of the allegations made against the author. While I abhor the behavior, I am judging the book on its own merit. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 22, 2021 |
This story was so much more than I was expecting. It's about a boy growing up on an Indian reservation. Life and the future don't look bright for those living there. So many sad things happen to him, but the story is told in such an upbeat way. It feels so honest. You can't help but love him and his views. I really enjoyed this one and recommend it. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Feb 17, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 741 (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: (4.29)
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1 18
1.5 3
2 50
2.5 21
3 272
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4 1010
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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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