The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian

eBook - 2012
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In his first book for young adults, 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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, [2012]
Copyright Date: 2012
ISBN: 9780316280372
0316280372
Branch Call Number: FICTION Ale
Description: 1 online resource (229 pages) : illustrations
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Opinion

From Library Staff

A young Native American gets a chance to attend a good high school, but he will be the only non-white student.

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CRRL_MegRaymond Jan 05, 2018

A young native American gets a chance to attend a good high school, but he will be the only non-white student.

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.

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.

Also available on audio.


From the critics


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d
DorisWaggoner
Jul 05, 2018

This young adult novel is highly autobiographical, giving us the 14th year in the life of "Junior," a poor Indian kid growing up on the Spokane Indian Rez, as he's careful to call it. Junior knows he's smart, likes being smart, but doesn't know what to do with his brains. He has only one friend, also an outcast on the Rez. Until they become enemies, which tears both of them apart. Junior gets some good advice from a teacher at the Rez school--go to the nearest white high school, where he'll not only get a better education, but be able to play basketball on a better team. Heart in mouth, Junior goes, with the backing of his parents and beloved grandma. There he learns what "tribe" he really belongs to, and in the following summer becomes friends again with his on again off again friend. The tone is just right, very funny, very emotional, and the cartoons by Ellen Fourney add immensely to both. A young friend of mine saw the book in my apartment and kept commenting on it. She'd read it in her high school, which was near a different Reservation. She said it was "quick and easy to read, but with a lot of important stuff you had to tease out of it." I've more recently read Alexie's memoir of his mother, which I think is why I gave this one a lot fewer stars. At my friend's age, I'd have given it 5 too.

KHCPL_Doug Jun 25, 2018

I appreciated this novel for the honesty and the brevity of the character. He doesn't shy away from expressing how he feels, while at the same time giving things an honest label, even if it appears racist or insensitive. The concept of the book is to enlighten and to understand, and to find one's tribe. I think this book represents that really well, even if, in the end, we discover there are just two tribes. People who are a-holes, and the people who aren't. It's heartwarming, real, and sometimes funny. I highly recommend it.

d
darladoodles
May 28, 2018

Reading this book was an enlightening and heartbreaking experience. I laughed and I cried. There are many insights into the plight of the American Indians from the perspective of a teenage boy. The nomad concept I found to be especially profound. It does tend to be on the "rude and crude" side at times -- realism, I get it. That being said, I would not recommend to teens under the age of 17.

d
deterious1245
Mar 28, 2018

Part-time indian.

The summary of this book is about a indian boy that has brain damage and lives on the rez on day his dad transferred him from an all indian school to an all white school and one day at lunch a bully confronts him and says the most racist thing and he punched the bully in his face and the bully and his friends run after lunch he meets this girl that he wants to be friends with and they end up being friends.

When I first saw the Title part-time indian I thought it was about a boy who is mixed with indian and white until I got to page 3

My favorite part in the book is when he punches the bully and he runs off.

Another book I read by Sherman Alexie was thunder boy jr.

I recommend this book for people who are 15-16 and like to read memoirs

a
amirsamue
Mar 28, 2018

My book called the absolutely true diary of a part time indian is about how a kid was born with alot of dissable things going on with him.this kid was born with to much fluid in his brain and he had brain damage and he was born with 42 teeth. I feel like it would be a poignant because he was’nt born as a normal kid and plus the biggest impact is that he has to deal with having seizures every once in a while in his life. How my character deals with real life situation is kind of bad,i say bad because when he went to his new school he was dealing with a lot of people talking about him and how he look.also the character in the story had to deal with a big life time situation of his friend dying.he did not know how to handle it. would recamend this book because this is like a real life problem and i know there are people in this world that deals with health problems like that so i feel my character pain.

s
shack19
Mar 05, 2018

A wonderful introduction to what it means to be growing up Indian in a reservation. I'm sure that other ethnic minorities can relate as well. It would have been nice to extend the plot to a larger city, say, Seattle, as well. A great read, nonetheless; well worth the commendations.

CRRL_MegRaymond Jan 05, 2018

A young native American gets a chance to attend a good high school, but he will be the only non-white student.

p
pink_fox_320
Dec 24, 2017

Great book! It is a funny, light-hearted, and quick read. But it also manages to be heavy at the same time.

j
jankidd
Nov 14, 2017

Our book club, a group of retired socially aware women, read this book as our November selection. I learned a lot about life on the rez, and feel the book truly shares the feeling of a high school freshman, who is smart and recognizes how he doesn't fit in anywhere. It's a good read.

h
harlouwilson
Oct 18, 2017

Sherman Alexie really hits all my favorite writing points. Self depreciation with a healthy dose of hubris. Little sexy, little depressing, and a lot of criticism of America. oh, also, well written

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Age

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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

f
febreze101
Jul 28, 2013

febreze101 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

orange_squirrel_4 Jul 12, 2013

orange_squirrel_4 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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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."

r
RedDollface
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

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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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