The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian

Book - 2009
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown Young Readers, 2009, c2007.
ISBN: 9780316504041
9780316013697
9780316013680
0316013684
Call Number: ALEXIE
Characteristics: 229 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Subjects: Spokane Indians -- Fiction.
Indians of North America -- Washington (State) -- Fiction.
Indian reservations -- Fiction.
Diaries -- Fiction.
Race relations -- Fiction.
Cartoonists -- Fiction.
Young adult fiction.
Additional Contributors: Forney, Ellen

Opinion

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List - Read Across the USA
greenfox737 Sep 27, 2018

Washington


From the critics


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w
whatcomhillwalker
Jan 30, 2019

Ah Sherman you dog. Loved the book, grew up with the characters, of course this wan't the Junior I knew, he was an old man by the time you wrote this. Hope this all clears for you.

l
LINA ZHU
Jan 17, 2019

The book is extremely super funny to read it. I cannot stop laughing at it. And I can't wait to study this book in school and to play Kahoot Trivia game. :) :) :) :) :)

s
susan_findlay
Jan 11, 2019

While this is fiction, it feels like a comedian's autobiography. It's chatty, and the narrator regularly pokes fun of himself and the situations he finds himself in. Incredibly authentic feeling. The author clearly knows what life is like on a reservation - whether through research or experience (I didn't look up his history to check).

Very similar in feel to Trevor Noah's Born a Crime (except that that book actually is an autobiography - and if you haven't read it yet, you should), Absolutely True Diary tackles issues of racism, poverty and culture clash in a very accessible and lighthearted way without diminishing their importance.

Highly recommend.

b
booknrrd
Jan 10, 2019

One of my all-time favorite books. It is about a Native American teenager living on the reservation and dealing with all of the regular teenage stuff on top of family issues and reservation life.

8
8412617
Nov 19, 2018

This book is lit! It talks about a lot of things that you may be able to relate to, also any available solutions for any real life problems you may be experiencing. True Diary is a book of a young boy names Junior who gets bullied by everyone but his one true friend Rowdy who likes to find fights. In his current school, he gets bullied and he feels like he does not get well educated so he leaves that school to go to another school where his life makes a change for the better...

j
jm8574678
Nov 19, 2018

this book is about a novel
that has conformity in it
has alot of fighting in it
and it has a alot dislike and like

i think this is a good book because its funny a little bit
how they get in a fight

this would be good for my sister because shes loves
to fight alot
and argue .

m
MusicPlayer_5
Nov 02, 2018

This book was about a kid named Jr. who lived on a poor Indian reservation with his poor family and went to a poor school. The school he went to was called wellpint, a very poor school on the Indian reservation, not to later on in the book, Jr. decides to transfer to Rearden, a more wealthy school outside of the reservation with a vast majority of white people and very little Indians. This book is very amusing and very interesting when it comes to how it alters the emotions of the reader, it's a very emotional book at certain times but it is also an extremely funny book to read. This is the very first book I've ever read by this author and I already love his style, this book is very original and I highly recommend it to those who have at least an average ready level with a good amount of maturity. You’ll love this book if you're into books that carry an emotional connection with the reader.

a
asdfghjkl_11
Nov 02, 2018

My book is called the absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian, it about Indian people who were poorer than the white people and the character of my is about an Indian boy who was in a poor family and then one day one of his animal friends was sick and they couldn't help him so he dies and when he was a kid he had a brain surgery he was lucky the doctor and his parent thought he was going to die but he made it. I feel that the book is the best book I ever read because it really makes me feel that I was in the books.no I have not read a book with similar themes, I feel this book compared to those who what to learn about Indian people in the past, yes i recommend because this book talks about people in the past that were poor and how they make it and being free from poorness.

b
blue_chicken_738
Nov 02, 2018

The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian
Sherman Alexie

This book is about this Indian guy named Junior that has a friend that is really buff and beats everybody up. His name is Rowley. Eventually Junior left Rowley to go to a different high school named Reardan and it was a racist all-white school and Junior felt displaced. This one scene is when the prettiest girl in the Reardan high school her name was Penelope she vomiting near the bathroom Junior was in. So Junior knocked and waited for her to come out and she told Junior what was going on so they eventually became close friends. Everyone was surprised because junior was new to the school and not popular at all. Penelope's father Earl was very racist and said some racist stuff to Junior and was only letting Junior date her because he knew that she was trying to get on his nerves.

I really liked this book because it was really funny and it has a good story, for example, one time Rowley got so mad that he took a shovel and kept on hitting this minivan. All because Junior was leaving him for another school. After I finish this book I will read a lot of other books made by this author. I have read lots of other funny books and this one is in my top five. I felt like this book was funnier than a lot of other books I read.

I recommend this book for people who have a sense of humor and like funny stuff.i think a lot of fifteen to seventeen-year-olds would love this book because of its comedy.

h
humming
Sep 28, 2018

Very insightful and impactful story on many levels plus effective use of cartoons/drawings to enhance the story and characters.

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Age

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i
ItsYourBoiMyles
Apr 10, 2019

ItsYourBoiMyles thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

ArapahoeAlly Aug 22, 2018

ArapahoeAlly thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 18

b
blue_turtle_1952
Jul 05, 2017

blue_turtle_1952 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

j
jmli
Jul 28, 2016

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

b
black_bear_515
Mar 11, 2016

black_bear_515 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

blue_fish_456 Jul 16, 2014

blue_fish_456 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

c
cooliothebest
Jun 25, 2014

cooliothebest thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 20

blue_hummingbird_169 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

m
MADKC4Ever
Jan 11, 2014

MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

f
frinkerbell
Jul 28, 2013

frinkerbell thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 20

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Quotes

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r
randalllee
Jul 10, 2018

“Life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of the community.” - Sherman Alexie

ArapahoeMaryA Sep 27, 2017

If you let people into your life a little, they can be pretty damned amazing.

j
jmli
Jul 28, 2016

"If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing." - Arnold Spirit Jr.

r
rowiek
Jun 22, 2016

"Life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of the community."

j
JoKiser
Jun 12, 2016

"We were supposed to kill the Indian to save the child."

r
rebmartin31
Jun 02, 2016

"I can do it," I said to Coach, to my teammates, to the world.
"You can do it," Coach said.
"I can do it."
...
'Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from an adult? [...] How amazing it is to hear that from anybody? It's one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they're the hugest words in the world when they're put together. You can do it. I can do it. Let's do it.'

p
pplarel
Jun 28, 2012

pg. 13 "Poverty doesn't give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverence. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor."

pg. 97 "The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don't know."

pg. 107 "There are all kinds of addicts, I guess. We all have pain. And we all look for ways to make the pain go away."

pg. 129 "If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing."

Ólive Jun 17, 2012

When anybody, no matter how old they are, loses a parent, I think it hurts the same as if you were only five years old, you know? I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.

NSFRA Jun 16, 2012

"Life is never easy"

kimbalee Sep 11, 2009

When anybody, no matter how old they are, loses a parent, I think it hurts the same as if you were only five years old, you know? I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.

Summary

Add a Summary
j
jmli
Aug 13, 2016

A boy from the Spokane Indian reservation enrolls in a white school, despite the hate and betrayal the rest of his tribe feels.

r
rowiek
Jun 22, 2016

Arnold is a boy who lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He has several problems like ‘born with water on the brain’ (he has a big head), he has a poor eyesight, seizures and lips and stutters. This is the reason he is regularly beaten up and calling names like ‘retard’ (for the brain damage) and ‘globe’ (because of his large head). He is very poor and he only has two friends, his dog – Oscar - and Rowdy (a boy who also live on the reservation). When Oscar gets sick his father kills him and now his only friend is Rowdy.

Rowdy has problems on its own. His father abuses him and his mother. He is the only one who wants to protect Arnold (who often is called Junior) from his bullies and physical abuse. On the first high school day Arnold found out that his textbook was used by his mother – so it was approximately fifty-five years old. He knows that alcohol (and because of that almost everyone is poor) is more important to most residents than an education is. Junior decides to transfer from his reservation school to Reardan High, a white school that is more than twenty miles away. All of the ‘white’ kids are rich and have enough money to buy everything they want. Once he arrives, Junior finds that he is the only Indian (besides the school’s mascot) there. He get to know a popular white girl, Penelope, and a very smart boy, Gordy. His best friend on the reservation, Rowdy, stays behind and vows never to speak to Junior—the “traitor”—again. Junior also knows that everyone else on the reservation thinks he is an “apple”: red on the outside but white on the inside. Meanwhile, most of the students at Reardan treat Junior as an outcast as well. Although he is stimulated by the intellectual challenges of Reardan’s advanced curriculum, Junior must fight to improve his social standing both on and off the reservation. He accomplishes this accidentally when he goes out for Reardan’s basketball team. He surprises himself when, as a freshman, he makes the varsity team and eventually even becomes a starting player. Junior’s biggest challenge comes when he must play against his former basketball team from the reservation, whose star player is none other than Junior’s ex–best friend, Rowdy. On the first match Wellpinit wins after Rowdy cheats on Junior. But in the second game Junior is the hero of the day.

b
Books2Ubooktalker
Oct 23, 2012

High school student on the Rez decides to buck tradition and attend the best high school in the region, 22 miles away and almost all White. Funny cartoons. Matter-of-fact.

Booklover1235 Jul 01, 2012

"the absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian" by Sherman Alexie is about a boy named junior who was raised on a reservation and was always made fun of. But when the chance comes to change to a school where he can actually achieve something and do something he has to choose,wether to be called a traitor by everybody he knows or tries to show the Rez that he is willing to push everything aside to prove that there is more to life than drinking.

Ninja_Kevin Jun 17, 2012

I have finished a book called "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie a realistic fiction novel. In this book it is about a Indian boy who is lving on a small rezervation or rez and he has a best friend name Rowdy. They both go to school on the rezervation name Wellpinit. Arnold Spirit a fouteen year old teenager and the protagonist is a book kisser what this mean is that he like to read and write. When he had gone to school , during geometry class Mr.P his teacher had passed out textbooks. When Arnold relizes that he got his mothers textbook that was at least thirty years old he threw it at Mr.P in the face. Then Mr.P came over to his house to talk to him about what he had done. When Mr.P said something like, if you don't leave this rezervation then you will die. Another thing he said was something like if you are the only one who hasn't gave up, every one has gave up even the teachers at his school had gave up even his parents had gave up even his best friend Rowdy had gave up. He also wanted the world to know that he is important. What will happen next?

Ólive Jun 17, 2012

Sherman Alexie’s dark comedy offers up insight about respect, identity and acceptance in unadorned, briskly paced language that will appeal to many teens. Junior Spirit is a Spokane Indian eager to begin high school on his reservation. His hopes of newfound knowledge and opportunities are dashed when he is assigned the same textbook that belonged to his uneducated, impoverished mother thirty years earlier, bringing on a sense of fatalism and despair. Urged by his teacher to respect his dreams and demand more from life than can be expected on the reservation, Junior bravely gathers his dignity and stands up for himself by transferring to a school in a distant town. So begins his search for identity and his place in the world, as “Junior Spirit”, traitor to his people, is ostracized on the rez for consorting with whites, while “Arnold Spirit Junior”, alone, navigates the racism and mystifying cultural rules of an all-white school. “Absolutely True Diary” could easily become a litany of anger, pain and hopelessness; the poverty, alcoholism, violence and incredible death rate chronicled in the novel seems insurmountable. Yet for every tragic event, there is a detail to give us hope or even a laugh, and even the most debauched characters receive understanding and a chance at redemption. Arnold’s cartoon sketches of the people around him, drawn by artist Ellen Forney, amuse and meld seamlessly with the tone of the text. Arnold’s spirit, however, is the most compelling aspect of the book, and his relentless determination to succeed in escaping the fate of his tribe lingers with the reader, making him one of the most inspiring characters in young adult fiction today. Arnold’s quest for a better life proves that acceptance is won by earning respect, and the first step in gaining the respect of others is respecting yourself

w
wrightlibtech
Mar 24, 2012

Sherman Alexie’s dark comedy offers up insight about respect, identity and acceptance in unadorned, briskly paced language that will appeal to many teens. Junior Spirit is a Spokane Indian eager to begin high school on his reservation. His hopes of newfound knowledge and opportunities are dashed when he is assigned the same textbook that belonged to his uneducated, impoverished mother thirty years earlier, bringing on a sense of fatalism and despair. Urged by his teacher to respect his dreams and demand more from life than can be expected on the reservation, Junior bravely gathers his dignity and stands up for himself by transferring to a school in a distant town. So begins his search for identity and his place in the world, as “Junior Spirit”, traitor to his people, is ostracized on the rez for consorting with whites, while “Arnold Spirit Junior”, alone, navigates the racism and mystifying cultural rules of an all-white school.

“Absolutely True Diary” could easily become a litany of anger, pain and hopelessness; the poverty, alcoholism, violence and incredible death rate chronicled in the novel seems insurmountable. Yet for every tragic event, there is a detail to give us hope or even a laugh, and even the most debauched characters receive understanding and a chance at redemption. Arnold’s cartoon sketches of the people around him, drawn by artist Ellen Forney, amuse and meld seamlessly with the tone of the text.

Arnold’s spirit, however, is the most compelling aspect of the book, and his relentless determination to succeed in escaping the fate of his tribe lingers with the reader, making him one of the most inspiring characters in young adult fiction today. Arnold’s quest for a better life proves that acceptance is won by earning respect, and the first step in gaining the respect of others is respecting yourself.

Arnold Spirit is 14 when he makes the life-altering decision to transfer to a school off the Spokane Indian Reservation. The only other Indian at his new school is the mascot.

Notices

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m
MADKC4Ever
Jan 11, 2014

Coarse Language: Lota of curse words/sexual curse words in this book.

m
MADKC4Ever
Jan 11, 2014

Sexual Content: The most prominent situation is a 16 year old boy talking about how he loves masturbation, but there's a lot more sexual references sprinkled throughout the book.

EuSei Sep 19, 2012

Sexual Content: Masturbation

Booklover1235 Jul 01, 2012

Sexual Content: Uses some inappropriate language.

Ólive Jun 17, 2012

Coarse Language: faggot

Ólive Jun 17, 2012

Violence: fight

c
ChocolateChips
Oct 09, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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