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The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian: Signed PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian: Signed
Author: Sherman Alexie
Publisher: Published by Little Brown & Co (first published September 12th 2007)
ISBN: 9780316465625
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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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 mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolut 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.

30 review for The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian: Signed

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a short novel labeled young adult but more 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 liv Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a short novel labeled young adult but more 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 more funerals mainly alcohol related by the one they start high school than most adults do in a lifetime. But Arnold wanted something more. Arnold wanted a chance at achieving his dreams. A quarter 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 request 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 more of his works, as well as his documentary film Smoke Signals.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    "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 leper....as much as being outdoors is where every kid wants to be....staying indoors feels safer. So, mostly Arnold Junior Spirit hangs ou "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 leper....as much as being outdoors is where every kid wants to be....staying 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. Plus.....dealing 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: devastating.....but find the power to forgive: healing!!!..... but also real painful loss: death - a wasteful death--- MY GOD.....you just want to CRY YOUR EYES OUT! Junior did! I did too! At the same time -- through the sadness & tears ---Junior inspires us with his Humor and strength. A few great laughs!!!! Junior 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) more??? And.... it goes without saying..... whew, (my own tears just keep on coming).... That Sherman Alexie is a BEAUTIFUL MAN!!!! His contributions have been HUGE!!!! I'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 book ....facing the old demons - emotions - from his childhood. This IS a NOVEL......but 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 special ....with great memories!!! I put off reading it for almost a year - because I knew I was going to cry. I did - couldn't be avoided!!! A FAVORITE!!!!!!! Should be required reading-- not banned! lol. But....#1 banned books in the United States was 'kinda' cool - too! Funny anyway!!!! Got more people interested!!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    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 below. ______________________________ I kinda got on the Sherman Alexie bandwagon, as an undergrad, when all freshmen were required to read his The Lone Ranger and Ton 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 below. ______________________________ I kinda got on the Sherman Alexie bandwagon, as an undergrad, when all freshmen were required 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 Award. Here’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. laughing. Also, Junior is a book kisser. I grabbed my book and opened it up. I wanted to smell it. Heck, I wanted to kiss it. Yes, kiss it. That’s right, I’m a book kisser. Maybe that’s kind of perverted or maybe it’s just romantic and highly intelligent. While it certainly packs a punch, it’s a quick, engaging read and I think it would be equally 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 me. Also, the 1 and 2 star reviews on Amazon 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 more struck by the inclusion of Steinbeck and Ellison than the others - you have poverty and you have race, pretty squarely represented. Issues that are much more emphasized, I would say, than any similarities to Holden.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    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 way. In fact, 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 way. In 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 more 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 reserves. All 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 more 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’

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jodie

    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 a 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    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 book. This 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 educate 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 book. This 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 Americans. The 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 more appreciated by the older end of the young adult audience and, of course, adults themselves. It's an education as well as an entertaining story. I 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. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie The 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 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie The 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 one." تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم ماه فوریه سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: 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، سرخپوستان امریکای شمالی؛ 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 است راوی 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 یک ظرف سیب‌ زمینی سرخ کرده غول پیکر. حالا اگر جدی‌تر و شاعرانه‌ تر و دقیقترش را بخواهید: «به دنیا که آمدم روی مغزم آب بود.» ا. شربیانی

  8. 5 out of 5

    TK421

    Confession time: I’ve been a bit of a snob when it comes to YA literature. The idea that this type of writing was beneath me, not able to give me what I wanted from a story were my main excuses. I’m not going to say that YA fiction is ever going to replace “literary” adult fiction, but I will say that it has opened my eyes. THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN is a magnificent read. The story centers around Junior, a Spokane Indian, and his family who live on a reservation. To be hone Confession time: I’ve been a bit of a snob when it comes to YA literature. The idea that this type of writing was beneath me, not able to give me what I wanted from a story were my main excuses. I’m not going to say that YA fiction is ever going to replace “literary” adult fiction, but I will say that it has opened my eyes. THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN is a magnificent read. The story centers around Junior, a Spokane Indian, and his family who live on a reservation. To be honest, I was leery coming into this book. I had read FLIGHT and RESERVATION BLUES and INDIAN KILLER and THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO FISTFIGHT IN HEAVEN, and I was expecting little from this book. Mainly I read it because it won the National Book Award. But Sherman Alexie makes a very straightforward narrative electrifying. Being a South Dakotan, I understand the tenuous relationship between Whites and Native Americans, and to think that I would be moved by a Spokane Indian was never really plausible in my mind. Alexie moved me. His words and ideas and descriptions gave me an insight that I previously lacked. Reading Junior’s story gave me the chance to see what it is like to know as a young person what your future will hold if raised on a reservation. The word bleak does not adequately describe these people’s futures; it is much darker than that. But Alexie doesn’t just paint a grim picture of reservation life; he also illuminates the aspects of life that should be cherished within all colors: family and hope. Junior doesn’t have a lot of hope, at first. But as the story progresses, his family provides him with the needed hope to see that the borders of the reservation are meant to be broken, that it is okay to explore life without knowing what the outcome is going to be. At times hilarious, heart-wrenching, and provocative, this quick read is anything but simple. Well, done, Mr. Alexie, well done. (Plus, who doesn’t like reading about basketball every once in awhile in a novel?) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  9. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    You can credit Junior with this much; he's not a complainer. Not really. I mean, sure he was born with an enormous head, gigantic feet, crazy eyes, ten more teeth than normal, a stutter, and a lisp . . . . but hey, have you ever seen the guy's cartoons? They're great! Junior isn't the most popular kid on his reservation but he does all right. That is, until the day he snaps after finding his mother's maiden name in an old junky geometry book. Oddly, the teacher he lobs the book in the face of is You can credit Junior with this much; he's not a complainer. Not really. I mean, sure he was born with an enormous head, gigantic feet, crazy eyes, ten more teeth than normal, a stutter, and a lisp . . . . but hey, have you ever seen the guy's cartoons? They're great! Junior isn't the most popular kid on his reservation but he does all right. That is, until the day he snaps after finding his mother's maiden name in an old junky geometry book. Oddly, the teacher he lobs the book in the face of isn't angry. He just tells Junior in no uncertain terms that it would be in his own best interest to leave the reservation. Some way, somehow, he has to get off and make something of himself. Junior's no fool. He's perfectly aware that leaving the rez will be seen as some kind of a betrayal to his friends and neighbors, but the next thing you know he's applied to Reardan. Reardan is a rich, white school where the only Indian is the school mascot. Joining Reardan means that Junior has figure out what he wants from the world, what he needs from his family, and what he should do with his life. As for the writing, it's top notch. This kind of subject matter requires a seemingly effortless mixture of laughter and tears. Sherman Alexie manages to deliver this, so that a funeral for Junior's grandmother is just as full of outright guffaws as it is pain and distress. Alexie also knows how to wield a delightful one-liner. "PCs are like French people living during the bubonic plague." Or about a bulimic girl who tries to cover it up the odor with gum, "She just smells like somebody vomited on a big old cinnamon tree." Finally, when Junior talks about cartooning as an art, he isn't dinking around. I enjoyed the section where he explained that "If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning. But when you draw a picture, everybody can understand it." Since Part-Time Indian received the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, it has gotten its own fair share of attention. This is great since I felt that cartoonist Ellen Forney clearly needs as much of it as she can get. Forney has created the cartoons that appear throughout Part-Time Indian, charged with the task of making them seem as though they are from the pen of Junior himself. Alexie reportedly requested Ms. Forney specifically for this book. She's not the first cartoonist to come to mind when you picture adolescent teen boy suffering, but credit Alexie for his insight. Somehow her unabashed sexuality and love of the funny works when you tone it down just right. She's definitely reigned in her wilder tendencies (a quick glance at her book I Love Led Zeppelin will confirm this) but she's managed to do it without stifling herself or her natural talent. Who knew she could even draw happy pegasuses and smiley clouds? Not me. I also appreciated the subtlety in some of her cartoons. At one point we look at an image of Junior's best friend Rowdy as he's reading his comic books. In the picture Junior has drawn a big angry face yelling, "What're you drawing??" with the explanation, "Rowdy . . . He hates it when I draw him! Never lets me finish." If you look at the picture carefully, though, you can see the outlines of Rowdy's real features hidden beneath the cartoony angry face. I may as well just start lobbing this book at the heads of the teens I see entering my library. Anything to get them awake and noticing its existence. My objections are few and my praise strong and clear. A great title and well worth the hype it has been receiving. Go forth, my children, and read it all up. You'll feel better after you do.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    In the same way that John Green and Jesse Andrews use humor to deal with heavy issues like cancer, Sherman Alexie uses a similar device to tackle a variety of difficult subjects. He hits racism, bullying, addiction, death, poverty, and other topics all through his narrator's great sense of humor and his hilarious cartoons. I don't read a ton of YA stuff (although I sure have been lately!), but I try to at least hit the highlights. I think this is the best YA book I've read since The Knife of Nev In the same way that John Green and Jesse Andrews use humor to deal with heavy issues like cancer, Sherman Alexie uses a similar device to tackle a variety of difficult subjects. He hits racism, bullying, addiction, death, poverty, and other topics all through his narrator's great sense of humor and his hilarious cartoons. I don't read a ton of YA stuff (although I sure have been lately!), but I try to at least hit the highlights. I think this is the best YA book I've read since The Knife of Never Letting Go. It took me into a world with a type of racism I honestly didn't know much about. It hits hard at times with dozens of quotable one-liners, but then Junior drops in a fart joke and it softens the blow a little bit. I thought the humor was great and consistent throughout the entire book. The cartoons really add to the story and at times made me laugh out loud. This is a book you can read in one sitting, too, because the pages turn quickly with all of the drawings and short chapters. You will cover just about every emotion you have while reading this. In fact, I should have just made this entire review out of emojis. It hits you right in the feels, man.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrei Bădică

    "Nu contează ce ai vrut să faci. Contează ce ai făcut cu adevărat." "Bine, tata are o problemă cu alcoolul și mama poate să fie excentrică uneori, dar fac sacrificii pentru mine. Se gândesc la mine. Vorbesc cu mine. Și, cel mai important, mă ascultă."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bill Khaemba

    I am sitting here just staring at the ceiling, I still can’t believe that this book packed such a punch. My sister just walked into the room and asked me what’s wrong and I threw the book at her… “If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.” I don’t know if I will manage to convince anyone to at least attempt to pick this up, but I will give it my best. The story is told from The First person by Junior, a 14-Year-Old Spokane Indian boy born with a vari I am sitting here just staring at the ceiling, I still can’t believe that this book packed such a punch. My sister just walked into the room and asked me what’s wrong and I threw the book at her… “If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.” I don’t know if I will manage to convince anyone to at least attempt to pick this up, but I will give it my best. The story is told from The First person by Junior, a 14-Year-Old Spokane Indian boy born with a variety of medical problems in a poverty ridden reservation that is heavily looked down upon by the fellow white men. And all hope for him to make it out and make something of himself doesn’t seem very possible. He then decides to take his hope back and fight for his future by drawing funny illustrations of his life experiences and going in an all-white farm school that will pose a challenge and some interesting surprises while facing major condemnation from his fellow Indians for going to the white school. “I grabbed my book and opened it up. I wanted to smell it. Heck, I wanted to kiss it. Yes, kiss it. That's right, I am a book kisser. Maybe that's kind of perverted or maybe it's just romantic and highly intelligent.” This book opened my eyes and rid me of my ignorance in a very clever and funny way. I was so impressed by how he made me laugh at some very serious topics and I would still feel uncomfortable but in a good way ( If that makes any Goddamn sense ) he wasn't afraid to tackle some social issues head on & incorporate humour effectively . You could see some aspects of Sherman in Junior and it was delightful to see all this through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy which is usually annoying. The naivety was executed so well, unlike Extremely Loud and Incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer where the 9-year-old main character’s voice was unbelievable for his age, this one felt genuinely real and because it was sort of written like a memoir it felt a lot more personal. I was angry at some prejudice, I cried at some bits and I laughed out loud at the dialogue. That just proves how connected I was especially for a Young Adult book. The main character was everything, I can still hear his voice and his funny personality jumping out of the pages. The illustrations by Ellen Forney elevated the book to a whole other level. Seriously, they were funny & interesting e.g. Funny Stuff xD “If you're good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can't be wrong.” Themes surrounding racism, abuse, hopelessness and struggle play out & some sections will literally twist your inside making you question what it is to be human. But the simplicity and comic relief of the book soften the punch of the book . In a way, I related to the main character, some aspects of his life really struck a cord. As a kid, I fought so hard to stand for my dreams and future by telling everyone that I would get out and grab the world by the balls and run with it. I would tell everyone what future I painted but as I grew up reality struck and I sort of fell into the same lifeless routine that kind of shrunk my dreams but I still had that little spark inside -that flame of hope- that I protected from the wind of reality. Junior never gave up and when he decided to be the first Indian to go to an all-white school for a better opportunity than the one provided back to his community, it was so brave and impactful that I was happy to see it told in a YA book. Poverty, Opportunity, Racial Segregation, Hope, Acceptance, Growth and so much more this book should be on everyone’s bookshelf. If you have any recommendations for YA books that feature any Red Indian Character or Explore the culture or just any diverse YA books feel free to tell me:0 I feel like I need quality Young Adult fiction in my life. Thanks for Reading :) So until next time stay Bookish ;)

  13. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    When you google "famous YA books"....this one comes up. So obviously I had to read it. It's like my mission in life to read all the famous-ish YA books. AND NOW I HAVE. I have to say...it was good but not great. The actual reading was an adventure though, because sheesh, first my library cancelled my reserve (WHY. DON'T THEY WANT ME TO BE EDUCATED) and then I finally got the jolly book and I'm pretty sure someone has bathed with it. Or spilled their drink on it. Or like read it 54 times and frol When you google "famous YA books"....this one comes up. So obviously I had to read it. It's like my mission in life to read all the famous-ish YA books. AND NOW I HAVE. I have to say...it was good but not great. The actual reading was an adventure though, because sheesh, first my library cancelled my reserve (WHY. DON'T THEY WANT ME TO BE EDUCATED) and then I finally got the jolly book and I'm pretty sure someone has bathed with it. Or spilled their drink on it. Or like read it 54 times and frolicked about a meadow with it. (To sum up: this copy is kind of gross.) But moving forward! It's basically a story about hope, expectations, and racism. And I think it was really really well done. And it said some really poignant things. Arnold Spirit Jr. basically lives on this reservation where everyone is an alcoholic, everyone beats everyone else up, and they have no hope of getting out of the cycle. Arnold also was born with brain damage and a lot of medical problems. SO ANYWAY. Arnold decides to go to a white people's school. He gets a lot of backlash from his tribe, but HE DOES IT. He wants to make something for himself. Overnight, I became a good player. I suppose it had something to do with confidence. I mean, I'd always been the lowest Indian on the reservation totem pole -- I wasn't expected to be good so I wasn't. But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. They expected me to be good. So I became good. I wanted to live up to expectations. I guess that's what it comes down to. The power of expectations. ^^^^ That is so true. SO TRUE. I thought it talked really candidly about racism too. And I really appreciated Arnold's attitude. Like his life sucked. White people treated him bad. Native Americans treated him bad. He got bitter/angry/depressed at times but he was a really relatable dude and I rooted for him. HE ALWAYS GOT BACK UP. "I used to think the world was broken down by tribes," I said. "By black and white. By Indian and white. But I know that isn't true. The world is only broken into two tribes. The people who are assholes and the people who are nt." WELL SAID. But I really really didn't mesh with the writing style. Oh it was funny and quirky and I loved Arnold's voice. But it was seriously anti-climactic. Like he'd meet a girl, have a 2 second conversation, and then skiiiiip to "and that's how I got a girlfriend". No. Wait. Backup. You missed like half the story. And he did this with deaths too. There are quite a lot of deaths here and it'd be like "la la went to school, and ate a sandwich and massive death happened afterwards". No emotion. No climax. It just dropped the bombs in the middle of a paragraph almost. How am I supposed to be emotionally involved when the narrator isn't?? I feel nothing, bro. ALL IN ALL: It's a very honest and intriguing story and I'm really glad I've finally read it. So I can (A) cross it off that "famous YA book list" (which, btw, I've read most of the books on) and also (B) because I think it's a very realistic story. It manages to mix darkness with laughs. It's depressing but also hopeful. Except for all the part about basketball. I'm about as interested in sports as I am in the process of shelling peanuts. Which is to say: no.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Manju

    Looks like I am in minority here as this is a popular book with all those 4 and 5 star ratings and all those glowing reviews. Let me start with a confession, when I'd came across this title I added it thinking that this would be about Indians of India but I was proved wrong within few pages of starting this. This book is about native American Indians. I was a teeny tiny disappointed but I kept on reading as it has one of my favorite themes i.e. coming of age. Story is told from PoV of Arnold and Looks like I am in minority here as this is a popular book with all those 4 and 5 star ratings and all those glowing reviews. Let me start with a confession, when I'd came across this title I added it thinking that this would be about Indians of India but I was proved wrong within few pages of starting this. This book is about native American Indians. I was a teeny tiny disappointed but I kept on reading as it has one of my favorite themes i.e. coming of age. Story is told from PoV of Arnold and is about fitting in. “Life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of the community.” So Arnold decides that he wants to read in a white school, to be friends with white kids, and somehow he feels that his community hates him for this. They saw it as he was backing out on whole Indian community and no longer a part of it. Honestly, I didn't see the "hatred" that Arnold felt except perhaps from his best friend and other guys of his age. Other than that his family was very supportive of his decision and other adults in the Reservation just accepted it as his decision. While I get it why he is feeling like this (of course, when you are first one to do an odd things, you'd surely going to attract those stern and suspicious glares that made you feel that something is not right with you), what I don't get is "why". Reading in a white school won't make you an exceptionally bright kid or just turn you into a super intelligent kid. His teacher asked him to change school for better studies but the guy was too busy in trying to fit in, to make himself acceptable among the rich and shallow kids. I think I am too dumb to get the meaning or the message that this book is trying to convey if there is any. No way I am recommending this to any of my friend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Miller

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I agree with Abby's review from 11/28/07. I wanted to like this book, but I was disappointed. It's the same Alexie story re-told for teens. The teen narrator doesn't feel authentic, though. He's made out to be a complete sadsack with a host of medical problems at first, then dates the prettiest girl in school and turns out to be a star basketball player. What did I miss? And why oh why did Alexie feel it necessary to kill off three main characters in the last few chapters?! My cynical guess is t I agree with Abby's review from 11/28/07. I wanted to like this book, but I was disappointed. It's the same Alexie story re-told for teens. The teen narrator doesn't feel authentic, though. He's made out to be a complete sadsack with a host of medical problems at first, then dates the prettiest girl in school and turns out to be a star basketball player. What did I miss? And why oh why did Alexie feel it necessary to kill off three main characters in the last few chapters?! My cynical guess is that he felt he needed to at least make his plot interesting. As it happens, though, these events just muddy things up. In these deaths (as in the book as a whole), Alexie tries to address Native American stereotypes -- drinking, fighting, etc. -- by making fun of them. However, it felt as if he just ends up pointing out how true he thinks they are. Maybe I just didn't 'get' the humor. It's especially important for young people to understand the struggles of many Native Americans today. And, of course, Alexie's point of view is valid. I just believe that he could have done much better in presenting these realities. I enjoyed "The Lone Ranger..." and the film Smoke Signals. I wanted to like this book, too, but it was a chore getting to the end.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Rey

    Highly recommend this one! Trigger warnings for alcoholism, depression, and eating disorders.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    4.5 well deserved stars! This review contains helpful spoilers. :) This book authentically tells us about the consequences of racism, stereotyping and isolation in the eyes of a 14 year old boy, Arnold Spirit Jr., a native Indian American who ironically suffered 14 years of bullying in the hands of his fellow tribesmen in their reservation. It's funny how Arnold only started to believe in what he can do and be accepted when he transferred to a school outside their reservation where all stude 4.5 well deserved stars! This review contains helpful spoilers. :) This book authentically tells us about the consequences of racism, stereotyping and isolation in the eyes of a 14 year old boy, Arnold Spirit Jr., a native Indian American who ironically suffered 14 years of bullying in the hands of his fellow tribesmen in their reservation. It's funny how Arnold only started to believe in what he can do and be accepted when he transferred to a school outside their reservation where all students except for him and their mascot are white. Though at first, he suffers derision and all sorts of insulting stereotypes White Americans concoct about Indians, he slowly starts earning friends, a pretty white semi-girlfriend and even a slot in the varsity basketball team. Even when his new friends discover that Arnold's family is poor, they do not shun him. In fact, it is his fellow tribesmen who rejected him for transferring and leaving them, calling him names like apple (red in the outside but white in the inside-a part-time Indian as indicated in the title). The most ironic thing about this book is how Arnold humorously and comically narrates his story in his diary. Because even though he's already talking about his terrible and painful experiences in life such as the death of a family member, his poverty, and the lifelessness of the people in their reservation, he relates them as indifferently and as jokingly as he can that you wouldn't know whether you'll laugh or cry. He even makes sketches and drawings that make you crack up and forget that what he's actually telling is a very sad thing. It's also mystifying how a death of someone can unify a people, making them forget differences and ill feelings which was exactly how Arnold came to feel that he is still one with his tribe and that even if this is true, it doesn't mean that he cannot belong to other tribes anymore. In fact, he realizes that he belongs to many tribes of the world (tribe of book lovers, of basketball lovers, of travelers, of dreamers, etc.) The manner by which the story is written to me is also very genuine as if everything is coming from an actual 14 year old American-Indian boy and I give credit to the author and the cartoonist for that. I strongly recommend every American to read this book. In fact, I strongly recommend everyone to read this book because for some reason, I think everyone regardless of skin color at some point, has become a racist in its most general meaning. Most of us are guilty of stereotyping which is one of the main sub classes of racism and this is one great book that will remind us of our quick and easy, but often wrong judgment. ;)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    I'm removing my rating & review for this book until I reread it because I don't think I was at an age where I could truly comprehend it, and I know the insensitive phrasing of my original review calling it unrealistic may have hurt and/or misled people who previously saw the review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Alexie’s autobiographical YA novel features Junior, who escapes into comics (drawn in the manner of a kid, wonderfully, by Ellen Forney) from his often tragic life on the rez, particularly The Spokane Indian Reservation. It’s in a kind of diary format, and the “part-time Indian” part of the title refers to the move he makes to leave the rez school in Wellpinit to travel to an all-white school in Reardan, twenty-two miles away but it might as well be a continent away. That move, initated by a tea Alexie’s autobiographical YA novel features Junior, who escapes into comics (drawn in the manner of a kid, wonderfully, by Ellen Forney) from his often tragic life on the rez, particularly The Spokane Indian Reservation. It’s in a kind of diary format, and the “part-time Indian” part of the title refers to the move he makes to leave the rez school in Wellpinit to travel to an all-white school in Reardan, twenty-two miles away but it might as well be a continent away. That move, initated by a teacher who tells him to get out to save himself, separates Junior from both worlds. Junior’s best rez friend is Rowdy, who protects him from being beaten up sometimes. In Reardan he also has makes a friend, Gordy, an also smart kid, and gets support from Roger, his basketball teammate, but he also has a (white) girlfriend named Penelope. Junior was born with Hydrocephalus, too much fluid on the brain, which has long time effects including seizures, vision problems, dental issues, and more. He gets beaten up a lot, there’s a lot of fighting on the rez, but Rowdy needs to make sure he doesn’t get hit on the head. Along the way there are tragedies involving his best friend dog, Oscar, his sister who wants to write romance novels, his Dad’s best friend, Eugene that are somewhat balanced by Junior/Alexie’s laughter in the face of all things bad. You might laugh and cry on the very same page; sometimes it could happen in the same sentence! There’s a streak of rage in Alexie that runs deep. You find it in his novel Indian Killer, but it crops up everywhere, usually about the decimation of Indian culture and land appropriation, but he also has rage about the devastation of alcoholism, which continues to destroy lives everywhere, but disproportionately in Indian populations. The damage it does to Junior’s life is extensive, and he’s mad about it. And at the same time, Junior finds something to laugh about, sometimes hysterically, about these losses. The epigraph for the book comes from Yeats: “There is another world, but it is in this one.” This idea works in various ways in this book. Many people don’t know the depression and poverty of Indian reservations, even today. That often sad world of the rez exists in the larger world of the U. S., largely invisible. But the world of the spirit also exists within the world of the rez, a world of hope, of escape from disabilities, brutality. There’s a lot of laugh out loud humor in this book, often laughing at uncomfortable subjects, laughter amid tears. There’s hope in that laughter, but it’s comolicated, because you don’t want to make the mistake of thinking things are all right because of the jokes. But for Junior hope also comes packaged as books, Indian culture, basketball, friendship, family, even as he identifies the long sad history of the destruction of Indian culture in this country, and the rampant depression, the inadequate health care, the hunger, Junior’s various disabilities. There’s blame here for white America, but Alexie/Junior also blames Indians sometimes for their share of responsibility in taking itself down. Shared responsibility, collective rage. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian may not be for everyone. There may be a little too much sexual language for some readers, there’s a regular thread about masturbation in it. The language can at times be more graphic than in most YA books. The book sometimes substitutes jokes for deeper characterization, in places. He goes for the joke too much maybe, but the jokes are so good and painfully true! I loved reading this sad and funny book again with my class. It affirms the importance of self-expression through words, through comics, stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing. Now this book completely caught me off guard. I expected this to be just another light and easy read. I didn't expect it to become one of my favorite books of the year so far. But it did. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was such a heartwarming book. For some reason it (at least to me) felt like a mix of I Am the Messenger and Wonder, and I freaking loved both of those books. This book was funny (I mean If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing. Now this book completely caught me off guard. I expected this to be just another light and easy read. I didn't expect it to become one of my favorite books of the year so far. But it did. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was such a heartwarming book. For some reason it (at least to me) felt like a mix of I Am the Messenger and Wonder, and I freaking loved both of those books. This book was funny (I mean 'rolling on the floor laughing' funny), but at some parts it was really sad. And it actually surprised me how it switched from being funny to being sad in a line or two. But mostly, this book was funny. And the reason why this book was funny is the main character, Arnold Spirit Junior. He's seriously one of the nicest characters ever. I loved his narration and how he would say random lines that would make me crack up. One more thing that I want to mention is the shock factor this book had. It had so many twists that just made me gasp and think 'What the hell just happened?!'. Everything in the story would be fine, and then in one line, something major would happen that made my jaw drop. That was just one of the reasons why I ended up liking this book so much. If you haven't yet read this, give it a shoot. It truly is a wonderful and touching story that will stay in your thoughts long after you've closed the book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Dammit, I knew I should have written this review when I first finished the book, but I decided to push it off because it seemed too hard to try and sum up all my feeeeelings, but joke’s on me, now it’s even harder! Sherman Alexie has been one of my favorite writers since I was in college and one of my English comp teachers made us watch Smoke Signals, which is based off Alexie’s short story, “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” and for which he also wrote the screenplay. I thought the Dammit, I knew I should have written this review when I first finished the book, but I decided to push it off because it seemed too hard to try and sum up all my feeeeelings, but joke’s on me, now it’s even harder! Sherman Alexie has been one of my favorite writers since I was in college and one of my English comp teachers made us watch Smoke Signals, which is based off Alexie’s short story, “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” and for which he also wrote the screenplay. I thought the film was hilarious (and sad) and so decided to look up the source material. I’m not usually one for short stories (even short story collections by my favorite authors, for instance Neil Gaiman, have a hard time holding my attention). I much prefer longer narratives (and as a young person, the longer the better) so as to really have the time and space to get invested. But for some reason, Sherman Alexie was instantly an exception. I own all his short story collections, and have re-read them several times. When I taught English comp myself, I regularly taught my favorite of his stories, “Dear John Wayne” as a way to have the kiddos engage critically on the subject of gender roles and race. In fact, until I read this book, I had ONLY read his short stories. Why did I do this? I have no idea. I love Sherman Alexie in short form, why wouldn’t I love him in long form as well, my preferred medium? It also shouldn’t have surprised me that he’d be so good at writing for young people. He’s almost brutal about portraying the realities of the world as he sees it. Kids love that brutal honesty shit. We really shouldn’t coddle them if they’re willing to listen. They’re the ones it’s easy to change. He’s also hilariously funny, as per the usual. And what’s even better is that he’s funny in the service of his narrative, and not just to be goofy. The serious subject matter makes the jokes funnier, and the jokes make the serious subject matter hit home. This thing seems like it popped up fully formed. (In large part, I’m sure it did, since it seems to be at least partly autobiographical.) Junior’s voice is so, so engaging and unique. The artwork is not only super entertaining (and moving), but it also seamlessly interweaves with the narrative. The book wouldn’t have been the same without it. Alexie juggles so many balls in this book. It’s a coming of age story, and a story about growing up poor. It's about systemic racism, and the social realities of living on a reservation. The pervasive pessimism, the alcoholism. And yet, it’s also optimistic, and it does this without being cloying or naïve. Junior gets out and will ostensibly make something of himself, but not without a cost. So yeah, I loved this book. Read it in one sitting. I need to own my own copy immediately. I also need to finally get on reading his other novels (Flight, Indian Killer, Reservation Blues). If they’re half as good as this book, I will enjoy myself immensely.

  22. 4 out of 5

    kian

    کتابی بود که از اول تا آخرش، میتونی همزمان هم حس گریه و هم حس خنده داشته باشی.. هر دو با هم..... گوردی کتابی به من داد نوشته ی یک نویسنده روس به نام تولستوی. تولستوی میگوید: «همه خانواده های خوشبخت شبیه هم اند. اما هر خانواده بدبخت، بدبختی خودش را دارد.» خب من دوست ندارم با یک نابغه روس وارد جروبحث شوم. چیزی که هست تولستوی سرخپوستها را نمیشناخته.یکی هم اینکه تولستوی نمیدانست عامل بدبختی تمام خانواده های سرخپوست، دقیقا یک چیز است؛ عرق خوری لعنتی!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    I consider Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven one of my favorite books, but as is often my way, I read it over 10 years ago and inexplicably haven't read anything else by Alexie since. Maybe I just worry no other books will live up to that first one. But The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has obviously garnered a lot of attention--it won the National Book Award, and here in my town it was the "One Book, One Philadelphia" selection a few years back. There' I consider Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven one of my favorite books, but as is often my way, I read it over 10 years ago and inexplicably haven't read anything else by Alexie since. Maybe I just worry no other books will live up to that first one. But The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has obviously garnered a lot of attention--it won the National Book Award, and here in my town it was the "One Book, One Philadelphia" selection a few years back. There's always a big pile of copies of it in my local bookstore, and I finally gave in to it--I don't read a ton of YA, but perhaps subconsciously I thought this would prevent me from directly comparing it to Lone Ranger and Tonto. I'm not sure this strategy worked, exactly, because at first I was disappointed by the tone of this--it just seemed a little too goofy, and I began to wish I'd chosen some other Alexie for my second book. Fortunately, as I kept going, I warmed to the characters, all of whom were extremely well drawn, and I was very moved by Junior's experiences both on the reservation and at his new school off the rez. I also began to notice similarities between this and Lone Ranger and Tonto--mainly in the use of mild magical realism and the telling of (tall?) tales from the past. I'm really impressed by what an achievement this is as a work of YA fiction. There are literally millions of kids in this country (and parents, let's be honest) who have no idea what life is like on a reservation and what the experience can be when you leave it. It's so valuable to have a book like this, which gets this (often grim) message across yet is funny, unpretentious, and entirely fun to read. I'm hoping this book is being taught in schools and finds its way into a lot of hands, because it deserves every bit of attention it gets. This book is illustrated by Ellen Forney, and the art is fun and sometimes quite interesting. My edition had an interview with Forney at the end, and if your copy has it as well, don't skip it--it's a fascinating look at her artistic process in creating the illustrations, and it made me appreciate them even more.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mathews

    This is another book I took a long time getting around to reading. My desire to read it was driven partly because it has been banned in several school districts, most likely for references to masturbation and boners and other topics of interest to the normal 14 year-old boy. My thanks to the fine folks at The Banned Books Club group for giving me the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books. Alexie's book is a unique coming-of-age tale of Junior, a Spokane Indian boy growin This is another book I took a long time getting around to reading. My desire to read it was driven partly because it has been banned in several school districts, most likely for references to masturbation and boners and other topics of interest to the normal 14 year-old boy. My thanks to the fine folks at The Banned Books Club group for giving me the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books. Alexie's book is a unique coming-of-age tale of Junior, a Spokane Indian boy growing up in the high deserts of eastern Washingon, who decides he wants something more from life. Transferring to a mostly white school outside of the reservation he experiences, not only culture shock from his new surroundings but the ostracism of his fellow Indians for his turning his back on his tribe. It's a poignant tale that mixes humor and heartache in equal measure. In addition, the audio recording is ably read by the author himself.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    Really enjoyed this! It was a rather interesting writing style. It had this very casual feeling to it. I will say that there are a few things here and there that irked me, but for the most part it was enjoyable. Full video review to come! :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I am ashamed to admit, I don't know much about Native Americans. What is even more shameful is that the little that I know is taken directly from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books. So you can imagine what an eye-opener this book has been to me. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" narrates a story of Arnold Spirit, Jr., a Spokane Indian teenage boy who is determined to take his future into his own hands. The only way for him to do it however is to leave his troubled school on the rese I am ashamed to admit, I don't know much about Native Americans. What is even more shameful is that the little that I know is taken directly from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books. So you can imagine what an eye-opener this book has been to me. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" narrates a story of Arnold Spirit, Jr., a Spokane Indian teenage boy who is determined to take his future into his own hands. The only way for him to do it however is to leave his troubled school on the reservation to transfer to an all-white high school in a town nearby. Although everybody on the rez realizes that there is no future for those who decide to spend their lives in Spokane, Junior's transfer is taken as a betrayal of the tribe, his family, and Indian heritage. Junior finds himself in a lonely place where he is ostracized by his tribesmen and not fully accepted by his white classmates. The book takes us on a journey with Junior as he attempts to find a balance between Indian and non-Indian parts of his life. It is a remarkable story not only in a way it portrays life on the reservations, which is ridden with poverty, alcohol, and general feeling of defeat. It also tells a truly touching story of a boy who strives to better his life, overcomes adversity and almost impossible obstacles. As much as I hate using this word in my reviews, this is an inspirational story, full of hope, love, and triumph against all odds. I highly recommend this book

  27. 4 out of 5

    Book Riot Community

    It seems I’ve taken my sweet time getting to Sherman Alexie’s work, and for that I’m kind of bummed. While I’ve heard the rave reviews of this novel in particular–with its National Book Award and all–I had my doubts. I don’t always read the YA books, but when I do, I hope that they are as finely written as this one with a unique narrative voice, an emotional reading experience, and plenty to think about, no matter what your age. — Andi Miller from The Best Books We Read In June: http://bookriot.c It seems I’ve taken my sweet time getting to Sherman Alexie’s work, and for that I’m kind of bummed. While I’ve heard the rave reviews of this novel in particular–with its National Book Award and all–I had my doubts. I don’t always read the YA books, but when I do, I hope that they are as finely written as this one with a unique narrative voice, an emotional reading experience, and plenty to think about, no matter what your age. — Andi Miller from The Best Books We Read In June: http://bookriot.com/2015/06/30/riot-r...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mollie

    I really don't know how to write a review that will do this book justice. All I know is that I laughed, I cried, then I laughed some more. And this review will be my feeble attempt to convey the genius of Sherman Alexie's writing. While this is my first Alexie book, it most certainly will not be my last. Junior is a Spokane Indian living on a reservation who takes a huge risk by transferring to the white high school twenty-two miles away from the "rez." This takes a lot of courage for a boy, who I really don't know how to write a review that will do this book justice. All I know is that I laughed, I cried, then I laughed some more. And this review will be my feeble attempt to convey the genius of Sherman Alexie's writing. While this is my first Alexie book, it most certainly will not be my last. Junior is a Spokane Indian living on a reservation who takes a huge risk by transferring to the white high school twenty-two miles away from the "rez." This takes a lot of courage for a boy, who is already known around the rez as a "retard" and a "faggot". Most of that has to do with the brain damage that he endured as a child, the subsequent seizures that would often plague him, and his general awkwardness. So already he's an outcast. When he transfers to the new school he isolates himself even further because his tribe views him as a traitor. Add to that alcoholic parents and a best friend turned frienemy and Junior is about the loneliest soul you could imagine. But he keeps trucking on. Through it all, the good and the bad, Junior never loses his sense of humor. I find that heartening and hopeful. When faced with poverty, death, prejudice, and bullying Junior still manages to find humor in such tragic circumstances. Junior even verbalizes this saying: ". . . I realized that, sure, Indians were drunk and sad and displaced and crazy and mean, but dang, we knew how to laugh. When it comes to death, we know that laughter and tears are pretty much the same thing." As a white person, I cannot say whether or not The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian accurately portrays the Native American experience however, Debbie Reese, a Nambe Pueblo Indian woman and assistant professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose blog discusses "Critical perspectives of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society-at-large", praises the book stating: "There's a lot in the book that I really like because I connect with the character, the setting, the experiences... It is real and brutally honest." If Debbie finds it a valid representation of the Native American experience, I'm certainly going to believe her considering her heritage and her educational background. I encourage you to check out Debbie's blog if you're at all interested in the representation of Native Americans in YA (or Children's) lit. Her blog is a wonderful place to get recommendations for accurate portrayals of Native Americans. A lot of the tragedy that befalls Junior is, in some way, related to one of the harsh realities of life on the rez: alcoholism. As I understand, this is a huge problem among Native Americans. It was interesting the way Junior described having an alcoholic father and how that compared to his white classmates' fathers: "I mean, yeah, my dad would sometimes go on a drinking binge and be gone for a week, but those white dads can completely disappear without ever leaving the living room. They can just BLEND into their chairs. They become their chairs. . . There are white parents, especially fathers, who never come to school. They don't come for their kids' games, concerts, plays, or carnivals." " I realize my parents are pretty good. . . they make sacrifices for me. They worry about me. They talk to me. And best of all, they listen to me." So while his parent's aren't perfect and as much as Junior may envy some of the advantages of his white classmates, he still understands, appreciates, and values his family and his community. It's really difficult for me to articulate how amazing this book is. On one hand it's heartbreakingly sad, on the other it is humorous and uplifting. It just goes to show that we're not all just one thing. Junior, isn't just an Indian, this isn't just another YA book. This is something special.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    "Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear."- Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian I rarely enjoy YA books but I really liked this one. Narrated by Junior (Arnold) Spirit it tells the story of the life of a young Indian boy on and off a reservation Junior, an unlucky boy living on an Indian reservation in Spokane, Washington,was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid in his s "Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear."- Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian I rarely enjoy YA books but I really liked this one. Narrated by Junior (Arnold) Spirit it tells the story of the life of a young Indian boy on and off a reservation Junior, an unlucky boy living on an Indian reservation in Spokane, Washington,was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid in his skull and this brought about lots of physical problems. Poor Junior is already unpopular on the reservation but becomes even more so when he opts to transfer to a "white" school off the reservation. I read the book in one sitting;I felt so much sympathy for Junior who has so many trials to deal with at such a young age. Even as a 14 year old, he manages to show us the problems that Native Americans face, for example the poverty, the alcohol, abuse. However, he also manages to show the positive aspects of the culture. "But we reservation Indians don't get to realize our dreams. We don't get those chances. Or choices. We're just poor. That's all we are.' "It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor. You start believing that you're poor because you're stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that you're stupid and ugly because you're Indian. And because you're Indian you start believing you're destined to be poor. It's an ugly circle and there's nothing you can do about it." I saw a lot of parallels with how American Indians were treated and what colonialism did to Africa. As Junior's teacher said: "We were supposed to make you give up being Indian. Your songs and stories and language and dancing.Everything. We weren't trying to kill Indian people. We were trying to kill Indian culture." Very tragic. It was a sad book but it was also quirky and funny. Highly recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (adultishbooks)

    Amazing book. Kind of kicking myself for not picking it up sooner.

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