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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 mascotHeartbreaking 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 liveWith a foreward by Markus Zusak interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney


10 thoughts on “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

  1. says:

    Life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of the community Junior a teenager on the Spokane Indian Reservation the rez spent his entire life trying to blend in He was a smallish kid who used to have seizures He was picked on and bullied almost constantly And thensomething snapped There are all kinds of addicts I guess We all have pain And we all look for ways to make the pain go away Junior realized that he was going nowhere fast and the only way to get out was to literallyget out He transfers to an all white rural school with a lovely Indian mascot and everything changesWellsort of He's still hated at his old school but now instead of being picked on for his size and health issues he gets to be picked on for being a traitor But no matter what is said or what is thrown at him Junior decides that he will make it out there No Matter What If you let people into your life a little bit they can be pretty damn amazing Overall I liked this book and that makes the drama with the author all the disappointingJunior was funny and crude and hilarious and above all real So very real I was studying the sky like I was an astronomer except it was daytime and I didn't have a telescope so I was just an idiot Sometimes you wish the authors could live up to the characters they write YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat mirandareads Happy Reading


  2. says:

    2018 update with all of the women coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment from Alexie I'm no longer comfortable with the glowing review I originally wrote I still think the book is fantastic but I don't think the same of its author and I can't promote his writing with any enthusiasm I'll leave the original review belowI kinda got on the Sherman Alexie bandwagon as an undergrad when all freshmen were reuired to read his The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven I liked it Put it next to Plato’s Republic and it was pretty damn exciting But I didn’t go out and gobble up all this other books Plus I’m not the hugest fan of short stories But you know me I’m a sucker for YA And for YA that everyone’s been raving about And that wins the National Book AwardHere’s one of my favorite things about the book almost everything that makes you laugh is also heartbreaking This in no way makes it less funny or less sad It’s both perfectly at once Just like the times when Junior is heartbroken but can’t stop laughingAlso Junior is a book kisser I grabbed my book and opened it upI wanted to smell itHeck I wanted to kiss itYes kiss itThat’s right I’m a book kisserMaybe that’s kind of perverted or maybe it’s just romantic and highly intelligentWhile it certainly packs a punch it’s a uick engaging read and I think it would be eually engaging to high schoolers and adults It’s one I could pick up and read through again if I didn’t have so many others waiting for meAlso the 1 and 2 star reviews on are pretty diverting “The protagonist is too similar to all of those annoying protagonists in young adult fiction today” says the 1 star Yes they’re all so annoying aren’t they? They’re not you know struggling with figuring out who they are and what their place is in the world They don’t have problems with friends or family or school or themselves They’re simply annoying Oh teenagers Both reviews pick on the Catcher in the Rye similarities but honestly I never thought of Catcher until Junior mentioned it on his list of favorite books Along with The Grapes of Wrath And Feed And Fat Kid Rules the World And Invisible Man And some others that I haven’t read But really I was struck by the inclusion of Steinbeck and Ellison than the others you have poverty and you have race pretty suarely represented Issues that are much emphasized I would say than any similarities to Holden


  3. says:

    Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a short novel labeled young adult but appropriate for adult audiences A mere 230 pages including comic sketches Alexie details the plight of Arnold aka Junior a 14 year old Spokane Indian living on a reservation Born with brain damage to alcoholic parents Junior was never given a chance by anyone to succeed It did not help that in his tribe no one left the reservation The Spokane Indians would spend their entire lives on the rez in poverty Most kids would attend funerals mainly alcohol related by the one they start high school than most adults do in a lifetime But Arnold wanted something Arnold wanted a chance at achieving his dreams A uarter of the way into his freshman year of high school Arnold tells his parents he would like to attend Reardan High School 22 miles away Just like that his parents agree to this reuest even though they realize that it will be a hardship on them Most of the time his parents have no money to get him to school and he hitchhikes Yet Arnold is determined to succeed even if it means being labeled white by his tribe including his best friend Rowdy and Indian or outsider by the rest of his school Arnold had two things going for him his brains and basketball His coach took notice of him and placed him on varsity as a freshman Earning the respect from head jock Roger and head brain Gordy as well semi girl friend Penelope Arnold slowly becomes part of Reardan's inner circle Through his good grades and stellar play on the basketball court the other students do not label Arnold as that Indian kid by the end of the school year Filled with teenage angst and dealing with mature themes such as death to loved ones and alcoholism this book has been banned in many communities Despite the comics that made me laugh this is not a book that I would want my kids to read until they are mature enough to handle it Yet this is a powerful book for adults and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a glimpse into contemporary life on an Indian reservation which is unfortunately not only the glitz of the casinos that we hear about Alexie from this short book appears to be a gifted writer as this won a notable book award I look forward to reading of his works as well as his documentary film Smoke Signals


  4. says:

    Everyone on the rez calls me a retard about twice a day They call me a retard when they are pantsing me or stuffing my head in the toilet or just smacking me upside the head Do you know what happens to retards on the rez?We get beat up At least one a month Yep I belong to the Black Eye of the Month Club When you're 14 year old and treated like a leperas much as being outdoors is where every kid wants to bestaying indoors feels safer So mostly Arnold Junior Spirit hangs out alone in his bedroom and reads books and draws cartoons He draws everyone around him his mom dad sister grandmother and best friend Rowdy Junior had felt like an outcast from as far back as he could remember within his own tribe starting with some medical problems When he leaves the Spokane Indian reservation to attend an all white school 22 miles away he is still an outcast To choose not to drink alcohol or live a life of poverty is going against the grain on the reservation To be happy and successful feels threatening to his friends back home Being the only Native American in an 'all white' school also has its challenges Plusdealing with deep personal loss and grief on top of the normal hardships of parents who drink too much some parents hit their kids bullying best friends break off devastatingbut find the power to forgive healingbut also real painful loss death a wasteful death MY GODyou just want to CRY YOUR EYES OUT Junior did I did tooAt the same time through the sadness tears Junior inspires us with his Humor and strength A few great laughsJunior is one of the bravest and most courageous young men I've ever met through ANY NOVEL in my LIFE Is it possible to love a 14 year old boy character ??? And it goes without saying whew my own tears just keep on comingThat Sherman Alexie is a BEAUTIFUL MAN His contributions have been HUGEI've heard Alexie speak a few times in Berkeley last summer and every time I've heard him speak I always come away feeling INSPIRED MOVED THE MAN is LOVE REAL His contributions have come from his passions and love I heard him talk about how excruciating hard painful it was to write this bookfacing the old demons emotions from his childhood This IS a NOVELbut only Alexie could have written it A very special Thank You for my 'special' SIGNED COPY hard copy of this book by a group of very special friends in San Francisco they know who they are THANK YOU with all my heart for this book Their gift is very specialwith great memoriesI put off reading it for almost a year because I knew I was going to cry I did couldn't be avoided A FAVORITEShould be reuired reading not banned lol But#1 banned books in the United States was 'kinda' cool too Funny anyway Got people interested


  5. says:

    The best stories have truth in them Even if it’s a fictional story if it feels realistic if you can imagine these events taking place in real life or if it reveals you something about human nature and the world we live in along the way then it’s a golden truth It’s even better if the book was shaped from the author’s own living experiences Indians don’t need your pity They don’t want you to feel sorry for their lack of dollar bills or the aggression and racism directed their wayIn fact native peoples have come a long way They have survived they have resisted and they have fought They are resilient and smart Today there are self governing First Nations than a few decades ago Having taken a course on reconciliation and rebuilding of native communities in Canada I know this to be important and remarkable But unfortunately in the majority of cases the reserves are poorly managed without well developed services and at times dangerous places Arnold Spirit the hero of this book lives on one of those reservesAll he wants is to get out of it He is convinced that’s the only way he’ll survive and have the slightest of chances to become someone So far so good he’s transferring to an all white high school and trying to fit in or at least not cause any trouble but he can’t escape the place he grew up in so easily especially since he has to go back there every day and he certainly can’t escape his skin colour The author’s writing is thoroughly engaging I wasn’t expecting to finish this one in one sitting and yet I didn’t want to interrupt my reading for any reasonable reason The humour is on point the tone a mix of light and serious and Arnold’s experiences extremely relatable I may be a born Romanian Canadian girl who has only been the target of racist comments a maximum of four times in my life but we all understand what it means to have insecurities and to be unsure if we could ever fit in somewhere And pain This is a notion foreign to no one Unless you’ve lived a completely sheltered life you’ve had your heart broken once or twice or a dozen times Rest assured many await you This novel should be a mandatory read for teenagers in every school It’s not only eye opening insightful and relatable it’s also very reassuring Whatever ails your soul you’ll get through it After all the human body was programmed to stay alive Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google | Bloglovin’


  6. says:

    Sooo what do I know about Indians aka Native Americans? Well apparently the average white American knows very little about them and whether that's true or not I can confirm that the average Brit knows NOTHING about them That would include me Or it would have included me before I read this bookThis book was one of the biggest eye openers ever A very funny kinda sad eye opening experience You see Arnold Spirit was born on an Indian reservation and raised amongst Indians and educated in Indian schools and his life really just sucks Big time If the author didn't carry this story off with such witty humour it would simply be a FML rant about poverty death alcoholism abusive parents and just the sense that Hope is not even living in the same dimension as Native AmericansThe fact that all the book covers for this are incredibly childish is very misleading It becomes apparent when you're reading it that the cover is a picture of Arnold's doodles that he does to entertain himself and to avoid going completely insane but this is not a kid's book In fact I think it will be much appreciated by the older end of the young adult audience and of course adults themselves It's an education as well as an entertaining storyI suppose that ultimately this book is about overcoming obstacles and finding hope in the darkest places I obviously should write cheesy taglines for a living or even just a bit of humour


  7. says:

    This book has sort of been on my radar and yesterday I saw it on one of my student's desk I excitedly asked him what he thought of it and his face lit up He told me he had just finished it and repeated It was a really good book about three times with the most genuine smile I've seen from this kid all year When I told him it was on my list of books I wanted to read he handed it to me and said take it Huh? Then he showed me the sticker on the front cover that said FREE BOOK Read and Release He shrugged his shoulders and said I'm supposed to pass it on As it turns out there is a Whatcom Reads program and this title is circulating throughout the county The whole idea is that you read it and pass it and I had the good fortune of being handed this beautiful book The fact that one of my students passed it makes it that much cooler I sat down on my couch tonight and laughed and cried and wished there was someone here besides the cats to share it with I thought it was amazing


  8. says:

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian Sherman AlexieThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a novel by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney The book won several awards and was the first young adult fiction work by Alexie a stand up comedian screenwriter film producer and songwriter who has previously written adult novels short stories poems and screenplays Alexie stated I wrote the book because so many librarians teachers and teenagers kept asking me to write oneتاریخ نخستین خوانش بیست و ششم ماه فوریه سال 2011 میلادیعنوان خاطرات صددرصد واقعی یک سرخپوست پاره‌ وقت؛ نویسنده شرمن الکسی؛ مترجم رضی هیرمندی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، افق، 1390، در 277 ص، مصور، شابک 9789643697471؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی سده 21 م، عنوان دیگر خاطرات کاملا حقیقی یک سرخپوست نیمه وقت، با ترجمه سعید توانایی مروی، در انتشارات افراز و در سال 1388 هجری خورشیدی چاپ و نشر یافته استراوی داستان، نوجوان سرخپوستی است، که در قرارگاه «شما البته که بخوانید زندان» زندگی را می‌گذراند به کاریکاتور علاقه دارد و از دید خود، بچه ای دست و پا چلفتی ست جونیور، البته این دست و پا چلفتی بودن خود را، با زبان طنز و شاعرانه بیان می‌کند، تا خوانشگر حس کند ایشان دارند بدبختی خود را اغراق‌ آمیز توصیف می‌کنند « اوضاع کلاً شلم شوربا و خنده‌ دار شده بود؛ مغزم شده بود عینهو یکظرف سیب‌ زمینی سرخ کرده یغول پیکر حالا اگر جدی‌تر و شاعرانه‌ تر و دقیقترش را بخواهید «به دنیا که آمدم روی مغزم آب بود» ا شربیانی


  9. says:

    I listened to this as an audio book The version I had was from my library and is I believe the tenth anniversary edition It was read by the authorI started out listening to this on my own I like having a story running in the background while I'm doing routine tasks But very soon I saw that my husband Fred was also closely tuned into the story So I timed my listening times so that we could enjoy it together And enjoy it we didI loved Alexie's voice and inflection for this telling I loved that he sometimes chokes up as he's reading his own words Writers do that even years later There are parts of our own books that we can't get through without a tear or twoThere were moments that made both Fred and I laugh out loud and times when we completely stopped whatever hand project we were doing to listen intently Exhilarating triumphs and heartbreaking moments all told in a simple styleMy grand daughter 16 came in while we were listening Oh I know this one We read it in school I loved it How often do you hear that about a reuired reading book?I am years late coming to this work obviously I'm sure you've heard that it's the first person tale of a young man growing up on an Indian reservation in Washington state It's so much than thatI recommend this especially in the audio book format with Sherman Alexie reading his own work I recommend that you listen to the extra bit at the end of it too I think it would make a great story for a family to share at home in the evening or on a long car ride Excellent excellent book


  10. says:

    Funny poignant and heartbreaking The Absolutely True Diary of a Part time Indian is a must read for everyoneDealing with hydrocephalus poverty constant bullying and freuent deaths in a family of drunks Arnold aka Junior goes through an undeniably hard life growing up in the Spokane Indian Reservation The journey of this 14 year old trying to manifest his dreams into reality by shifting to an all white school after alienating his bestfriend and the entire community and gearing up to face a judgemental racist society is nothing short of inspiring After a considerable period of struggle fistfights and basketball games he carves a place for himself in the school earning the respect of his peers albeit grudgingly and gets his bestfriend back The endThe writing is laconic and the comic sketches are endearingly witty Enmeshing adult themes in an adolescent background this book is a real page turner