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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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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 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.
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.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.0
  • Lexile:
    600
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • A National Book Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker, Sherman Alexie is one of the most well-known and beloved literary writers of his generation. His works of fiction, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Reservation Blues, and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, have received numerous awards and citations. He lives in Seattle. Like Thunder Boy Jr., Sherman was named for his father.
Reviews-
  • DOGO Books hanli - I really enjoyed reading the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part – Time Indian. In the novel, the main character Arnold Spirit, Junior, is traveling throughout his journey of self-discovery. It was a combination of tragedy, drawings, humor, despair, and hope that made me so engaged with reading this book. My heart was simultaneously broke into a million pieces and made me laugh as the pieces are put together over and over again. I was impressed by how the tragic events that took place in the story did not come across as a shock, but instead as natural things that happen in life. The author, Sherman Alexie, was born a Spokane Indian just like Junior, and I believe he wanted his readers to understand how Native American teens that live in reservations struggle to escape the future that was already determined for them. I was inspired by Junior’s hopes and dreams of self-discovery by the people around him, his struggles, and success, to work hard for my own dreams for them to be accomplished. After I read through the novel, I learned that I should never determine a person without getting to know them first, as Sherman had stated in his book, “If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.”
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 20, 2007
    Screenwriter, novelist and poet, Alexie bounds into YA with what might be a Native American equivalent of Angela’s Ashes,
    a coming-of-age story so well observed that its very rootedness in one specific culture is also what lends it universality, and so emotionally honest that the humor almost always proves painful. Presented as the diary of hydrocephalic 14-year-old cartoonist and Spokane Indian Arnold Spirit Jr., the novel revolves around Junior’s desperate hope of escaping the reservation. As he says of his drawings, “I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.” He transfers to a public school 22 miles away in a rich farm town where the only other Indian is the team mascot. Although his parents support his decision, everyone else on the rez sees him as a traitor, an apple (“red on the outside and white on the inside”), while at school most teachers and students project stereotypes onto him: “I was half Indian in one place and half white in the other.” Readers begin to understand Junior’s determination as, over the course of the school year, alcoholism and self-destructive behaviors lead to the deaths of close relatives. Unlike protagonists in many YA novels who reclaim or retain ethnic ties in order to find their true selves, Junior must separate from his tribe in order to preserve his identity. Jazzy syntax and Forney’s witty cartoons examining Indian versus White attire and behavior transmute despair into dark humor; Alexie’s no-holds-barred jokes have the effect of throwing the seriousness of his themes into high relief. Ages 14-up.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2007
    Gr 7-10-Exploring Indian identity, both self and tribal, Alexie's first young adult novel is a semiautobiographical chronicle of Arnold Spirit, aka Junior, a Spokane Indian from Wellpinit, WA. The bright 14-year-old was born with water on the brain, is regularly the target of bullies, and loves to draw. He says, "I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats." He expects disaster when he transfers from the reservation school to the rich, white school in Reardan, but soon finds himself making friends with both geeky and popular students and starting on the basketball team. Meeting his old classmates on the court, Junior grapples with questions about what constitutes one's community, identity, and tribe. The daily struggles of reservation life and the tragic deaths of the protagonist's grandmother, dog, and older sister would be all but unbearable without the humor and resilience of spirit with which Junior faces the world. The many characters, on and off the rez, with whom he has dealings are portrayed with compassion and verve, particularly the adults in his extended family. Forney's simple pencil cartoons fit perfectly within the story and reflect the burgeoning artist within Junior. Reluctant readers can even skim the pictures and construct their own story based exclusively on Forney's illustrations. The teen's determination to both improve himself and overcome poverty, despite the handicaps of birth, circumstances, and race, delivers a positive message in a low-key manner. Alexie's tale of self-discovery is a first purchase for all libraries."Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library"

    Copyright 2007 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2007
    Arnold Spirit, a goofy-looking dorkwith a decent jumpshot, spends his time lamenting life on the poor-ass Spokane Indian reservation, drawing cartoons (which accompany, and often provide more insight than, the narrative), and, along with hisaptly named pal Rowdy, laughing those laughs over anything and nothingthat affix best friends so intricately together.When a teacher pleads with Arnold to want more, to escape the hopelessness of the rez, Arnoldswitches to a rich white school and immediately becomes as much anoutcast in his own community as he is a curiosity in his new one. He weathers the typical teenage indignations and triumphs like a champ but soon facesfarmore tryingordeals as his home life begins to crumble and decay amidst the suffocating mire of alcoholism on the reservation. Alexies humor and proseare easygoing and well suited to his young audience, and he doesnt pull many punches as he levels his eye at stereotypes both warranted and inapt.A few of the plotlines fade to gray by the end, butthis ultimately affirms the incredible power of best friends to hurt and heal in equal measure. Younger teens looking for the strength to lift themselves out of rough situations would do well to start here.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2007, American Library Association.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • OverDrive Read
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