Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The

Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live. 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 lists, and winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-02-24

Arnold Spirit Jr., better known as Junior, is the heart of this coming of age story that will tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has ever known that to truly be yourself, you might have to separate a little bit from the people and places that have made you who you are. It's an important historical lesson in what the US has done to the true Americans, has wonderful illustrations and is written in a very original voice that won't soon be forgotten. The story of a smart young man taking his first steps into the wider world and all of the invisible strings that make growing into ones true self difficult.

Reviewed: 2018-08-04
I had heard amazing things about this book, but nothing specific about it, just that it was good. I had read flight a week or so before this and that was the only other thing I'd read by Sherman Alexie. I see why no one really says specifics about this book- it's very difficult to explain. Suffice it to say that I put this book on my classroom library wishlist before I'd even finished reading it.
Reviewed: 2018-04-27

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Reviewed: 2016-10-02

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" has been on the banned books list in one of the top five spots since it was published. It is an excellent book for teachers to read in their spare time and with their students. I really enjoyed how fast pace this book moves through Junior's life and how he makes difficult choices. The book also touches on many issues that face Native Americans on their reservations such as alcoholism, poverty, lack of education, and the pressure to stay on the rez. Junior makes the bold move to go to a white school and becomes an outcast in his new school as well as his old community. It shows the difficulty to adjust to a new situation that most teens can relate to. I really like using this book in the classroom because it is written as if it were Junior's diary and includes his doodles. It shows students some history behind Native American culture and the very real issues they still experience today. I dislike that the book turns into a basketball book. Junior eventually becomes the basketball star at his new school. It is no longer about getting a better education or making more of himself.

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