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The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian
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Originally published: New York : Little, Brown, c2007. 1st ed.
Performed by the author
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.
"Fluid narration deftly mingles raw feelings with funny, sardonic insight" explained Kirkus in their review of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie's semi-autobiographical novel. Disappointed with his education on the Spokane Indian Reservation and tired of being tormented for his physical problems, Arnold Spirit decides to attend an all-white high school in town. Immediately Arnold feels out of place, but as one Amazon customer cheers, he handles the challenges "using humor where it would seemingly appear that there is none, humor in the face of tragedy and melancholy, humor as an escape." Laughing aside, this "Native American equivalent of Angela's Ashes" (Publishers Weekly) is about one teenager's quest to do his best in the face of serious obstacles. Told with heart and featuring Ellen Forney's illustrations that will hook reluctant readers, it's no surprise that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Parental Advisory: physical abuse.
This is an excellent, excellent book, but the audiobook is read by Sherman Alexie himself and is even better than just reading the novel. Appropriate for age 10 and up.
This is an inspirational novel! It incorporates funny drawings too!
This book is a page-turner: right away the reader advocates for Junior, and as he faces struggles with school and family I found myself feeling real pain for him.
Alexie's ability to write as a 14-year old is amazing, and gives a very accurate perspective to what it was like for many kids to grow up on a reservation.
Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was a fantastic read. I'm generally not a huge fan of YA fiction and I found myself getting very involved with this novel--I read it in one sitting! Alexie uses his semi-autobiographical novel to explore what a teenager goes through living in two worlds (the white and the Indian). Junior is a clever young narrator and seems extremely honest, it is very believable that this is actually a 14-year-old boy's diary. Alexie softens the blow of some of the more mature subject matter by utilizing humor. The writing is funny and the drawings that are featured throughout are absolutely wonderful!
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