The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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Age Range
12+
ISBN
0316013684
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Overall rating 
 
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
As the title suggests The Diary of a Part-Time Indian is written in a first person episodic diary format. The novel follows fourteen-year-old Native American Arnold Spirit Jr., known as Junior, over his first year in high school.

Junior is growing up on a Spokane Indian Reservation near Wellpinit, Washington. He was born with Hydrocephalus (a medical condition in which there is an build-up of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain). As a result Junior is small for his age, suffers from seizures, has poor eyesight, a lisp and a stutter. The poor guy is picked on by practically everyone on the reservation – his only friend is Rowdy, who is abused at home.

After receiving encouragement from one of his teachers Junior decides to leave the reservation and attend Reardon High School, an all-white school where the only other Indian ironically is the school’s mascot. The downside he looses his only friend Rowdy, who sees the move as a betrayal.

At his new school he befriends a bright student Gordy and develops a crush on Penelope, the most popular girl in school. Through his interactions with Gordy, Penelope and other students at the school Junior learns both more about their culture and his own.

Junior is an aspiring artist and the novel features 65 of his comic illustrations. These illustrations by artist Ellen Forney add humour and reveal more about how Junior sees the world.

This is the debut young adult novel by Sherman Alexie, who had previously written for adults. The novel is semi-autobiographical and is inspired by events from Alexie’s own childhood.

The novel tackles some topical issues including race, poverty, alcoholism, eating disorders, violence, bullying and loss of a loved one. Due to its content and language the book has been challenged and banned in some schools.
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Recommended
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
My review on my blog https://mollyeyablog.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/the-absolutely-true-diary-of-a-part-time-indian-sherman-alexie/
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Inspiring and Outstanding
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
After reading "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, I was left feeling hopeful and satisfied in general. It didn't intrigue me in the beginning, but I had read an excerpt of the book in a writing class and I felt like it'd be interesting to read the rest of it. The content of the book was much more interesting after I read more and more. I loved the theme of hope and tenacity throughout the book and the vibe got stronger and stronger. If I were to be honest, I'd confidently recommend this book to anyone who's interested in reading a nice piece of work.

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie was about an Indian kid, named Junior, who lives on a reservation. That reservation is very poor and his family is a bit random, starting with his parents who can be alcoholics at times. His sister was supposedly on the road to being successful, but ends up living in the basement of their house. He goes to a school that doesn't show any hope for any of the student's future. After a meaningful conversation, he comes to the understanding that he needs to go to another school that shows possible hope for a bright future. It sounds great, but the only issue is that he's the only Indian kid in a complete white populated school. He must face the decision of leaving his reservation and becoming "one of them" or following the custom of accomplishing nothing in life. Throughout the book, he has these comics that show you his point of view. Along this insane journey, he meets people that will have changed his life.

This book was so inspiring in many ways more than one. I loved the humor that developed the hope and with every page, I wanted to read more. It's amazing how this one boy finds the will in himself to leave the customs and find his own path because he knows he can reach his full potential. The beauty in the book lies beneath the sarcasm and story, but in his experiences and what he's fully learned from them. He shows his vulnerability and his desire to succeed in life and not become what everyone wants him to become. I'd recommend this book for ages 12 and up.
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Heartfelt and entertaining
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I picked this book up for reasons I’m not sure of. I’d heard it mentioned—neither positively nor negatively, just mentioned—and it was on a table at Barnes and Noble, so I looked at it and said “Okay, I’m buying this” and headed to the checkout. All told, not one of my most rational or thoughtful book purchases.

Irrationality aside, I’m really glad that I have The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian on my shelf. Sherman Alexie told his story with humor and realism, as well as obviously strong emotion. I found myself liking this book much more than I expected.

Junior (AKA Arnold) is a wimp. There’s really no other way to describe him. He’s spent his whole life as a punching bag for every other kid on the rez, he never wins a fight, he cries all the time, and he throws up whenever he’s nervous. Yet in spite of that, Junior proved, over the course of the novel, that he was a strong, likable kid. I don’t relate to him very much, but I enjoyed what he had to say and how he said it.

Normally I’m not a fan of breaking the fourth wall; it just doesn’t work for me. However, even though Junior’s way of speaking directly to the reader wasn’t my favorite, I found that I didn’t mind it. His way of presenting things was often funny, and always truthful and raw. And that, in the end, made up for a lot of my problems.

There are books out there that are awesome. Or, rather, they would be awesome, but for one tiny thing. Something that seems insignificant, but really isn’t. Those books make me a little sad, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was one of them.

Because as emotional and gripping and visceral as this book was in spots, I think Alexie may have missed out on where it counted most.

A lot of things happen in this book. My favorite part was basketball, because I love basketball, and those scenes were done well. But there were also a lot of funerals in this book too, a lot of deaths. And, for me, those scenes didn’t read well. They were flat, straightforward, and routine. Especially toward the end, I felt that I lost connection with Sherman Alexie’s prose, for whatever reason.

I guess that what I’m saying is: in spite of myself, I hoped for more from this book. And sadly, I didn’t get more.
But, I mean, this is still a really good book. And like I said, I’m really happy I own a copy of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It’s a good book, worth reading, with a unique story to tell.
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Eye Opening Book
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Banned Books Week was recently upon us, and in honor of this outrageous and shocking week (note the sarcasm) I wanted to take a look at some of these hideously offensive titles that saintly Americans everywhere have been trying to take off the shelves.

According to bannedbooksweek.org one of the most challenged titles in 2011 was "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie. The reasons cited for challenging the book were “offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group.”

In my expert and academic opinion I’ve got to say: That shiz is whack! I’m so utterly surprised that this is still the world we live in. A world that challenges writers for trying to open the minds of young teenagers to minority voices who for so long have been ignored and/or silenced in our country. This whole idea of banning a book because of “reverse racism” is really just repulsive. First and foremost, there’s no such thing as reverse racism because racism can never be reversed. It’s either racism or it isn’t. Second, stating fact about the difficult situation white populations have put Native American communities in isn’t racism, it’s just truth. Ignoring this fact only allows for the repetition of such acts. Therefore, why not teach American youth about minority cultures through semiautobiographical works, like "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," through a relatable teen who not only has to deal with zits, girls and popularity but tribe identity as well? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Absolutely True.
Good Points
Opens the eyes of young readers to minority characters and their struggles in America.
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Entertaining
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Mairi

Junior is perceptive enough to realize that his parents are unhappy. He is also smart enough to acknowledge that he does not want to end up living their lives, so he decides to do the unthinkable and go to a non-reservation high school, though it means losing his only friend. At school, he meets a beautiful girl named Penelope and Gordy the Genius White Boy, two people who have nothing in common besides the fact that they're both nice to him.

As I had never heard a negative word spoken about this book, I decided to read it, and I am glad I did- from the first page, I could not stop laughing, yet even as I found Junior and his friends hilarious I recognized a lot of myself in them, especially Gordy. He was my favorite character; he had the best lines. Somewhere in the middle of the book he says that PCs are vulnerable to viruses like French people living during the bubonic plague, which has to be the best simile ever written.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA, as Sherman Alexie captures the genre better than anyone- it's sometimes edgy, always entertaining, and it makes you think, as all good books should.
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Heartbreaking and Hopeful
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Amy Ward

It only took me one day to read Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.  When this happens, it's because the book is so good and engrossing I don't want to put it down.  This book is heartbreaking and joyful and hopeful!  It's the story of Junior, a Spokane Indian, that transfers from his reservation high school to an all-white high school in a nearby town.  He receives grief from both sides but ends up finding the hope he has always wanted and needed.  Junior goes through a lot of life-changing events during his first year at the new school.  By the end of the story, he has come full circle.  He's able to embrace both his past and his present while looking towards the future.  It's an amazing ride!  It's a bittersweet look at the life of a boy stuck between doing what he wants and doing what is expected.  I highly recommend this book for all ages, young and old!

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Mrs. Magoo

From www.mrsmagooreads.com

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Grade: A-
Ideal Audience: Boys & Girls, 12+

Summary:
Junior is living on a Indian reservation, and has already subjected
himself to a sure future of being a loser. Where he lives, if you want
to get anywhere or be anybody, you have to be white. The loser lives
are saved for the Native Americans.

However, Junior surprises himself by making a life-changing decision. He decides to leave
the reservation during school hours and instead he attends the local
white school. Hopefully this will give him a chance to escape the
never-ending cycle of poverty at the reservation and give him a place
in the world.

Predictably, Junior has some problems fitting in.
At the reservation, his transfer is viewed as a betrayal, and some of
the kids at the white school aren't used to an Indian kid. The rest of
the novel follows Junior's journey of discovering just who, exactly, he
is.

My thoughts: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
is an absolutely hilarious novel. Junior's voice is honest and
entertaining, and he presents every story with an angle that makes it
just that much more funny. I also loved the cartoons scattered
throughout the book.

Sherman Alexie's novel is a coming of age story that teens everywhere, no matter what background, can relate to.



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humorous and real
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by the book muncher

Junior is just another unlucky kid living on an Indian reservation, but unfortunately, hes even unluckier than most. He was born with brain damage and a strangely disproportioned body, which causes him to be alternately beat up and ridiculed by all the other kids on the reservation except his only friend Rowdy. Junior might be smart and a good artist, but growing up in poverty and surrounded by alcoholics and broken dreams makes him believe that hes destine to the same life hes always had. But the wise advice from a teacher prompts Junior to take control of his life and fight against what little is expected of him. And despite animosity from nearly every side, this unlucky kid is determined to succeed.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is both profound and humorous, making for a very enjoyable read. Juniors frank voice made for plenty of deep thoughts and giggles. Junior was so interesting to read about, both because of his character and circumstances. I found Junior to be surprisingly mature for his age, and it made him seem older than he actually was, but then again, this maturity may have arisen from his difficult life. Life on the reservation was realistically portrayed, as heartbreaking as it was. Drawing and art did not play as large a role in Juniors life as I wouldve thought; instead, sports, particularly basketball, were central to Juniors struggle for success. This novel definitely left me with that warm fuzzy feeling that can inspire anyone to strive to accomplish their dreams, no matter how far-fetched. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a fun and heartwarming read about life and death, friendship and family.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a feel-good novel while still retaining its authenticity. Fans of this storys message will also enjoy Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith.

reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
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super funny and sad
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by big daddy

this book was funny because it talks about him masterbating and how he thinks good about excuser to say tom the people. its also sad because he lost three important family member and lost his people from the rez. but the book is funny, it make u laugh until your eyes fall out.
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