The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Paperback)

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Reviewed by Asa K:

    Junior is a boy who lives on the Spokane Indian Tribe Reservation with his best friend Rowdy. When Junior turns 14 he decides to move to a new school in a very racist town.  His new school is called Reardon. At Reardon he meets a girl named Penelope and two boys named Gordon and Roger. Roger is a tall and strong boy, who at first does not like Junior. Roger starts to make fun of indians and for Junior that means he has to start a fight with him. “1.  If somebody insults you, you have to fight them”. Juniors grandmother told him that next time someone insults him to just walk away Rowdy his old friend starts ignoring him and also being very rude to him just because he left. When he gets to school the next day Roger is really nice to him. Junior thinks to himself that the king has accepted me but not yet the queen (Penelope and Roger).
    After a while Junior decides to join the basketball team. He thinks he will maybe get on the junior varsity team, but instead gets on the varsity team.  After a while Penelope accepts him and even becomes his half girlfriend.  But Penelope’s dad does not like that idea.  At the end Rowdy becomes his friend again and is nice to him.
    This book has some mature content. Sherman Alexie did a good job writing a book with a lot of learnable points and a very interesting plot. The writing is very smooth and easy to keep up with.  One of the many themes that shows up a lot in the book is friendship.  I think this because him having to leave Rowdy and losing so many relatives and friends is a big part in the book.  I would also say acceptance is a theme because Junior has to be accepted into the school and into other’s lives.  I think that someone who is having a hard time or feels left out could relate easily to this book.  Sherman Alexie has very detailed settings so they are easy to imagine.  People who enjoy learning about how some people live and how American Indians live in modern time.

— From Palouse Prairie Student Book Reviews


Bestselling author 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 by Ellen Forney 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 was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

About the Author

A National Book Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker, Sherman has been named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists and has been lauded by The Boston Globe as "an important voice in American literature." He is one of the most well known and beloved literary writers of his generation, with works such as The Long Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Reservation Blues and has received numerous awards and citations, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Fiction and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award.

Praise For…

"This is a gem of a book....may be [Sherman Alexie's] best work yet."—New York Times

"A Native American equivalent of Angela's Ashes."—(starred review), Publishers Weekly

"Sure to resonate and lift spirits of all ages for years to come."—USA Today

"Realistic and fantastical and funny and tragic-all at the same time."—(starred review), VOYA

"The line between dramatic monologue, verse novel, and standup comedy gets unequivocally-and hilariously and triumphantly-bent in this novel."—(starred review), Horn Book

"Nimbly blends sharp with unapologetic emotion....fluid narration deftly mingles raw feelings with funny, sardonic insight."—Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)

"Few writers are more masterful than Sherman Alexie."—Los Angeles Times

"Alexie's humor and prose are easygoing and well suited to his young audience."—Booklist

"Fierce observations and sharp sense of humor...hilarious language."—Newsday

"Breathtakingly honest, funny, profane, sad....will stay with readers."—(starred review), KLIATT

"What emerges most strongly is Junior's uncompromising determination to press on while leaving nothing important behind."—(starred review), BCCB

"[Alexie] has created an endearing teen protagonist in his own likeness and placed him in the here and now."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Deftly taps into the human desire to stand out while fitting in."—BookPage

"Exceptionally good....Arnold is a wonderful character."—Miami Herald

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316013697
ISBN-10: 0316013692
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 2009
Pages: 288
Language: English