The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a first-person narrative novel by Sherman Alexie, from the perspective of Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a year-old budding cartoonist. The book is a coming-of-age story detailing Junior's life on the Spokane. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Bestselling author Sherman Alex. Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie's YA debut, released in hardcover to instant success, recieving seven starred reviews, hitting numerous bestseller.

The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-time Indian Book

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian Okay, so that's not exactly true. . hang out alone in my bedroom and read books and draw cartoons. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a novel by Sherman Alexie Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (): Sherman Alexie, Ellen Forney: Books.

It's funny how Arnold only started to believe in what he can do and be accepted when he transferred to a school outside their reservation where all students except for him and their mascot are white. Though at first, he suffers derision and all sorts of insulting stereotypes White Americans concoct about Indians, he slowly starts earning friends, a pretty white semi-girlfriend and even a slot in the varsity basketball team.

Even when his new friends discover that Arnold's family is poor, they do not shun him. In fact, it is his fellow tribesmen who rejected him for transferring and leaving them, calling him names like apple red in the outside but white in the inside-a part-time Indian as indicated in the title. The most ironic thing about this book is how Arnold humorously and comically narrates his story in his diary.

Because even though he's already talking about his terrible and painful experiences in life such as the death of a family member, his poverty, and the lifelessness of the people in their reservation, he relates them as indifferently and as jokingly as he can that you wouldn't know whether you'll laugh or cry.

He even makes sketches and drawings that make you crack up and forget that what he's actually telling is a very sad thing.

It's also mystifying how a death of someone can unify a people, making them forget differences and ill feelings which was exactly how Arnold came to feel that he is still one with his tribe and that even if this is true, it doesn't mean that he cannot belong to other tribes anymore. In fact, he realizes that he belongs to many tribes of the world tribe of book lovers, of basketball lovers, of travelers, of dreamers, etc. The manner by which the story is written to me is also very genuine as if everything is coming from an actual 14 year old American-Indian boy and I give credit to the author and the cartoonist for that.

I strongly recommend every American to read this book. In fact, I strongly recommend everyone to read this book because for some reason, I think everyone regardless of skin color at some point, has become a racist in its most general meaning. Most of us are guilty of stereotyping which is one of the main sub classes of racism and this is one great book that will remind us of our quick and easy, but often wrong judgment.

View all 24 comments. Dec 18, Whitney Atkinson added it Shelves: Aug 25, David Schaafsma rated it it was amazing Shelves: That move, initated by a teacher who tells him to get out to save himself, separates Junior from both worlds. In Reardan he also has makes a friend, Gordy, an also smart kid, and gets support from Roger, his basketball teammate, but he also has a white girlfriend named Penelope. Junior was born with Hydrocephalus, too much fluid on the brain, which has long time effects including seizures, vision problems, dental issues, and more.

You might laugh and cry on the very same page; sometimes it could happen in the same sentence! You find it in his novel Indian Killer, but it crops up everywhere, usually about the decimation of Indian culture and land appropriation, but he also has rage about the devastation of alcoholism, which continues to destroy lives everywhere, but disproportionately in Indian populations. And at the same time, Junior finds something to laugh about, sometimes hysterically, about these losses.

The epigraph for the book comes from Yeats: That often sad world of the rez exists in the larger world of the U.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

But the world of the spirit also exists within the world of the rez, a world of hope, of escape from disabilities, brutality. Shared responsibility, collective rage. The language can at times be more graphic than in most YA books. The book sometimes substitutes jokes for deeper characterization, in places. He goes for the joke too much maybe, but the jokes are so good and painfully true! I loved reading this sad and funny book again with my class.

It affirms the importance of self-expression through words, through comics, stories. Now this book completely caught me off guard. I expected this to be just another light and easy read. I didn't expect it to become one of my favorite books of the year so far. But it did. For some reason it at least to me felt like a mix of I Am the Messenger and Wonder , and I freaking loved both of those books.

This book was funny I mean If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing. This book was funny I mean 'rolling on the floor laughing' funny , but at some parts it was really sad. And it actually surprised me how it switched from being funny to being sad in a line or two. But mostly, this book was funny.

And the reason why this book was funny is the main character, Arnold Spirit Junior.

He's seriously one of the nicest characters ever. I loved his narration and how he would say random lines that would make me crack up.

One more thing that I want to mention is the shock factor this book had. It had so many twists that just made me gasp and think ' What the hell just happened?! Everything in the story would be fine, and then in one line, something major would happen that made my jaw drop. That was just one of the reasons why I ended up liking this book so much.

If you haven't yet read this, give it a shoot. It truly is a wonderful and touching story that will stay in your thoughts long after you've closed the book. Jul 27, Ashley rated it it was amazing Shelves: I thought the film was hilarious and sad and so decided to look up the source material.

I much prefer longer narratives and as a young person, the longer the better so as to really have the time and space to get invested.

But for some reason, Sherman Alexie was instantly an exception. I own all his short story collections, and have re-read them several times. Why did I do this? I have no idea. Kids love that brutal honesty shit. The serious subject matter makes the jokes funnier, and the jokes make the serious subject matter hit home. This thing seems like it popped up fully formed. The artwork is not only super entertaining and moving , but it also seamlessly interweaves with the narrative.

Alexie juggles so many balls in this book. It's about systemic racism, and the social realities of living on a reservation. The pervasive pessimism, the alcoholism. Junior gets out and will ostensibly make something of himself, but not without a cost. So yeah, I loved this book. Read it in one sitting. I need to own my own copy immediately. Apr 04, Jesse JesseTheReader rated it really liked it. Really enjoyed this!

It was a rather interesting writing style. It had this very casual feeling to it. I will say that there are a few things here and there that irked me, but for the most part it was enjoyable. Full video review to come! I consider Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven one of my favorite books, but as is often my way, I read it over 10 years ago and inexplicably haven't read anything else by Alexie since.

Maybe I just worry no other books will live up to that first one. There' I consider Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven one of my favorite books, but as is often my way, I read it over 10 years ago and inexplicably haven't read anything else by Alexie since.

There's always a big pile of copies of it in my local bookstore, and I finally gave in to it--I don't read a ton of YA, but perhaps subconsciously I thought this would prevent me from directly comparing it to Lone Ranger and Tonto.

I'm not sure this strategy worked, exactly, because at first I was disappointed by the tone of this--it just seemed a little too goofy, and I began to wish I'd chosen some other Alexie for my second book.

Fortunately, as I kept going, I warmed to the characters, all of whom were extremely well drawn, and I was very moved by Junior's experiences both on the reservation and at his new school off the rez. I also began to notice similarities between this and Lone Ranger and Tonto --mainly in the use of mild magical realism and the telling of tall?

I'm really impressed by what an achievement this is as a work of YA fiction. There are literally millions of kids in this country and parents, let's be honest who have no idea what life is like on a reservation and what the experience can be when you leave it. It's so valuable to have a book like this, which gets this often grim message across yet is funny, unpretentious, and entirely fun to read.

I'm hoping this book is being taught in schools and finds its way into a lot of hands, because it deserves every bit of attention it gets. This book is illustrated by Ellen Forney, and the art is fun and sometimes quite interesting. My edition had an interview with Forney at the end, and if your copy has it as well, don't skip it--it's a fascinating look at her artistic process in creating the illustrations, and it made me appreciate them even more.

View all 17 comments. Jun 06, Tatiana rated it really liked it Recommends it for: I am ashamed to admit, I don't know much about Native Americans.

What is even more shameful is that the little that I know is taken directly from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books. So you can imagine what an eye-opener this book has been to me. The only way for him to do it however is to leave his troubled school on the rese I am ashamed to admit, I don't know much about Native Americans. The only way for him to do it however is to leave his troubled school on the reservation to transfer to an all-white high school in a town nearby.

Although everybody on the rez realizes that there is no future for those who decide to spend their lives in Spokane, Junior's transfer is taken as a betrayal of the tribe, his family, and Indian heritage. Junior finds himself in a lonely place where he is ostracized by his tribesmen and not fully accepted by his white classmates. The book takes us on a journey with Junior as he attempts to find a balance between Indian and non-Indian parts of his life.

It is a remarkable story not only in a way it portrays life on the reservations, which is ridden with poverty, alcohol, and general feeling of defeat.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

It also tells a truly touching story of a boy who strives to better his life, overcomes adversity and almost impossible obstacles. As much as I hate using this word in my reviews, this is an inspirational story, full of hope, love, and triumph against all odds.

I highly recommend this book View 2 comments. Jan 25, Tom Mathews rated it really liked it Shelves: This is another book I took a long time getting around to reading. My desire to read it was driven partly because it has been banned in several school districts, most likely for references to masturbation and boners and other topics of interest to the normal 14 year-old boy.

My thanks to the fine folks at The Banned Books Club group for giving me the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books.

Alexie's book is a unique coming-of-age tale of Junior, a Spokane Indian boy growin This is another book I took a long time getting around to reading. Alexie's book is a unique coming-of-age tale of Junior, a Spokane Indian boy growing up in the high deserts of eastern Washingon, who decides he wants something more from life.

Transferring to a mostly white school outside of the reservation he experiences, not only culture shock from his new surroundings but the ostracism of his fellow Indians for his turning his back on his tribe. It's a poignant tale that mixes humor and heartache in equal measure. In addition, the audio recording is ably read by the author himself. Jul 06, Book Riot Community added it Shelves: View 1 comment.

Sep 14, Mollie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I really don't know how to write a review that will do this book justice. All I know is that I laughed, I cried, then I laughed some more.

And this review will be my feeble attempt to convey the genius of Sherman Alexie's writing. While this is my first Alexie book, it most certainly will not be my last.

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Junior is a Spokane Indian living on a reservation who takes a huge risk by transferring to the white high school twenty-two miles away from the "rez. Most of that has to do with the brain damage that he endured as a child, the subsequent seizures that would often plague him, and his general awkwardness. So already he's an outcast. When he transfers to the new school he isolates himself even further because his tribe views him as a traitor.

Add to that alcoholic parents and a best friend turned frienemy and Junior is about the loneliest soul you could imagine. But he keeps trucking on. Through it all, the good and the bad, Junior never loses his sense of humor. I find that heartening and hopeful. When faced with poverty, death, prejudice, and bullying Junior still manages to find humor in such tragic circumstances.

Junior even verbalizes this saying: I realized that, sure, Indians were drunk and sad and displaced and crazy and mean, but dang, we knew how to laugh.

When it comes to death, we know that laughter and tears are pretty much the same thing. It is real and brutally honest. I encourage you to check out Debbie's blog if you're at all interested in the representation of Native Americans in YA or Children's lit.

Her blog is a wonderful place to get recommendations for accurate portrayals of Native Americans. A lot of the tragedy that befalls Junior is, in some way, related to one of the harsh realities of life on the rez: As I understand, this is a huge problem among Native Americans.

It was interesting the way Junior described having an alcoholic father and how that compared to his white classmates' fathers: They become their chairs.

There are white parents, especially fathers, who never come to school. They don't come for their kids' games, concerts, plays, or carnivals. They worry about me. They talk to me. And best of all, they listen to me. It's really difficult for me to articulate how amazing this book is. On one hand it's heartbreakingly sad, on the other it is humorous and uplifting.

It just goes to show that we're not all just one thing. Junior, isn't just an Indian, this isn't just another YA book. This is something special. Jan 25, Rowena rated it really liked it Shelves: Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear. Narrated by Junior Arnold Spirit it tells the story of the life of a young Indian boy on and off a reservation Junior, an unlucky boy living on an Indian reservation in Spokane, Washington,was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid in his s "Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know?

Narrated by Junior Arnold Spirit it tells the story of the life of a young Indian boy on and off a reservation Junior, an unlucky boy living on an Indian reservation in Spokane, Washington,was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid in his skull and this brought about lots of physical problems. Poor Junior is already unpopular on the reservation but becomes even more so when he opts to transfer to a "white" school off the reservation.

I read the book in one sitting;I felt so much sympathy for Junior who has so many trials to deal with at such a young age. Even as a 14 year old, he manages to show us the problems that Native Americans face, for example the poverty, the alcohol, abuse.

However, he also manages to show the positive aspects of the culture. We don't get those chances. Or choices. We're just poor. That's all we are.

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You start believing that you're poor because you're stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that you're stupid and ugly because you're Indian. And because you're Indian you start believing you're destined to be poor. It's an ugly circle and there's nothing you can do about it.

As Junior's teacher said: Your songs and stories and language and dancing. We weren't trying to kill Indian people. We were trying to kill Indian culture. It was a sad book but it was also quirky and funny. Highly recommended.

Buddy Reads - Carrie B. Readers also enjoyed. Young Adult. Realistic Fiction. About Sherman Alexie. Sherman Alexie. In a book with many sad moments, that may be the saddest thing of all.

Families can talk about the awards this book has won. Did you know that it was National Book Award winner? Why do you think it won that award? If you take a look at the list of other award winners, are there others that you would like to read? What books would you nominate for this prize? Also, did you know that the author based this book on his own life story? Does that surprise you? Does that change anything for you? Why do you think this is a young adult book, rather than a children's book or a book for adults?

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Want personalized picks that fit your family? Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids. Funny, gritty, and powerful novel of growing up on the rez. Sherman Alexie Contemporary Fiction Rate book. Read or download.

Parents recommend Popular with kids. Based on 36 reviews. Based on 85 reviews. Get it now Searching for streaming and downloading options Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your download helps us remain independent and ad-free. Get it now on Searching for streaming and downloading options A lot or a little? The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value. Feeling as though he fits in nowhere, Arnold is forced to forge a new kind of identity for himself And don't worry—Alexie doesn't try to sugarcoat Arnold's life.

Alexie has been known in other works for his realistic depictions of reservation life, what he himself calls "reservation realism" a phrase Alexie coined in the introduction to the edition of his book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The Absolutely True Diary is true to Alexie's style, as we see how the reservation is a place of great beauty, but also a very destructive environment blighted with poverty, alcoholism, abuse, and senseless death.

Still, as the novel teaches us, there is also plenty of joy—or, as one of the character calls joy, "metaphorical boners"—to be had. The Absolutely True Diary doesn't pull any punches, but it also offers readers a hilarious and hopeful read. And even if you're nothing like Arnold, we're willing to wager that you'll find this novel to be "absolutely true" and absolutely relatable in at least a few ways.

We're going to put our usual pun-filled mania on hold here, because this is a novel that deserves a Moment of Sincerity: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a novel about hope and joy—about who has it and who doesn't, and about how hard life can be when hope and joy leaves. And how life can change when hope and joy reappears. But just in case you thought we were losing our edge—or that Alexie's novel was drippy or sappy—we're going to let you know that "joy" in this novel isn't called "joy.

Arnold Spirit, Jr. His parents are alcoholics, his sister is a hermit recluse, and his best friend is abused by his father.Add your rating See all 85 kid reviews.

Arnold finds hope in life by making lists of his favorite things: the things that bring him the most joy—or, using the vocab of The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian—give him an "emotional boner. Their first match demonstrates to Junior just how angry the reservation people are at him for transferring: when he enters the court, they boo and insult him. This is what being beaten down by society, being beaten down, literally, by so-called friends and people in your community looks like.

Arnold like Alexie makes a choice to leave the reservation and attend the affluent white school twenty-two miles away in Reardan.

Junior and Rowdy have been the best of friends since they were little, and Rowdy has often taken on the role of Junior's protector.

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