The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-03 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" 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! :) " said.

"This book surprised me. It was actually a little shocking in its language considered it's for kids, at least teenagers. That being said, I think it's still a good book for teens even with the inappropriate language and subject matter as long as an adult or parent has read it too and is available to answer question and have dialogue about it. What I like most about the book was its take on racism where Native Americans are concerned. We seem to be distracted with and focused on Black and White today. It's much bigger than that and a lot of blame to go around for all. What I didn't like was that it came off as real at first then digressed into a little fantasy with the basketball story. " said.

"I wish I had written this, which is a ridiculous—and very white—thing to say for a 65-year-old white woman writer. But as 14-year-old Arnold Spirit says about white people who visit his “rez,” they like to like Indians a whole lot. However this story of a Spokane Indian boy who opts to leave the rez where he gets beat up all the time to go to a white school where he starts as an outsider, becomes an insider, thereby becoming even more an outsider in his own tribe, while remaining a part-outsider at the new school because he is an Indian in a white school—well it is so true and funny that it can become “a story I wish I’d written” to anybody who has felt like an outsider. In short, I loved it." said.

"This was moving, and funny, and totally predictable but still handled difficult topics in a way that does not patronise its intended audience - the YA-ship.

I know, I keep bashing a lot of YA reads because I find them silly or overly emotive, and in a way the story of Arnold, too, suffers from both these elements, but there is also something fresh and raw in the way Arnold describes his world that is hilarious and sincere at the same time.

In short, I enjoyed all the elements that ensure this book ended up on the "banned books" list. Why ould you want to keep YA readers away from a story that focuses on the emancipation of the main character and his struggle with his sense of community?

Why ban a book on the grounds of language and perceived non-conformance to political correctness when the essence of the story really tries to deconstruct some of the myths of the cultural barriers that the book banning people seem to think are portrayed in an offensive manner?

Really makes you question whether the book banning people have read the book at all.
This reader would not be surprised if they had not.

It does remind me of one of my favourite scenes in the book (even though it is very similar to a certain scene in Dead Poets Society), at the end of which Arnold Spirit, Jr, concludes that he used to think that people were divided by their differences in tribes, or race, but that really there are only two kinds of people: those who are assholes, and those who are not.
" said.

"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.

" said.

"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:
" said.

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

"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

" said.

December 2017 New Book:

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