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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Paperback – Illustrated, April 1, 2009
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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 foreword 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.
"This Magnificent Dappled Sea: A Novel" by David Biro
Two strangers―generations and oceans apart―have a chance to save each other in this moving and suspenseful novel about family secrets and the ineffable connections that lead us to one another. | Learn more
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"A Native American equivalent of Angela's Ashes."―(starred review), Publishers Weekly
"Sure to resonate and lift spirits of all ages for years to come."―USA Today
"Realistic and fantastical and funny and tragic-all at the same time."―(starred review), VOYA
"The line between dramatic monologue, verse novel, and standup comedy gets unequivocally-and hilariously and triumphantly-bent in this novel."―(starred review), Horn Book
"Nimbly blends sharp with unapologetic emotion....fluid narration deftly mingles raw feelings with funny, sardonic insight."―Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)
"Few writers are more masterful than Sherman Alexie."―Los Angeles Times
"Alexie's humor and prose are easygoing and well suited to his young audience."―Booklist
"Fierce observations and sharp sense of humor...hilarious language."―Newsday
"Breathtakingly honest, funny, profane, sad....will stay with readers."―(starred review), KLIATT
"What emerges most strongly is Junior's uncompromising determination to press on while leaving nothing important behind."―(starred review), BCCB
"[Alexie] has created an endearing teen protagonist in his own likeness and placed him in the here and now."―Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Deftly taps into the human desire to stand out while fitting in."―BookPage
"Exceptionally good....Arnold is a wonderful character."―Miami Herald
About the Author
- ASIN : 0316013692
- Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 1, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 229 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780316013697
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316013697
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Lexile measure : 600L
- Grade level : 7 and up
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.25 x 5 x 1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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I was hooked immediately. The author made you feel like you were part of his world even though most us have never been closer to a reservation than seeing advertising for a casino on TV. I recommend this book to anyone with teenagers. They would benefit from seeing the perspective of someone they might not encounter in their everyday life and maybe reevaluate how they treat people from other cultures.
What a great story, it is an emotional roller coaster. This book makes you laugh and cry, makes you feel bad for those on the rez but want to be a part of them and their tough life, makes you glad to be part of the white community and their privilege but embarrassed by our racism and how alone we are in a world full of people.
I want to write more but I do not want to give spoilers even if they are vague. I have a feeling that I will be thinking of this book often and will read it again in the near future.
My best summary I could give is a quote from Junior in the chapter titled "And a Partridge in a Pear Tree"...
"It was a beautiful and ugly thing"
More than that, the novel is fun to read. This sounds odd, given the nature of the subjects covered, but Alexie's wit and insight are riveting. I read it through in one night and look forward to reading it again in a few months.
Top reviews from other countries
And this all happens in the first 20 or so pages. So, yeah, heart completely shattered at this point.
But Alexie manages to mend my heart by making Arnold a funny and mostly well adjusted character. He knows that in order to have any sort of success in life, he needs to go to Reardan High. And if that causes him grief at the rez, then so be it, he gets grief there anyway. Reardan isn't even a great school, it's merely okay, but it's better than the school on the rez where the books are at least thirty years old.
Of course, Alexie shatters my heart again. Reardan is thirty miles away from the rez and Arnold's family, like those around him, are dirt poor so a lot of the time he hitchhikes to and from school.
"After school, I'd ride the bus to the end of the line and wait for my folks.
If they didn't come, I'd start walking.
Hitchhiking in the opposite direction.
Somebody was usually heading back home to the rez, so I'd usually catch a ride.
Three times, I had to walk the whole way home.
I got blisters each time."
It sometimes felt like lather, rinse, repeat. This, to me, took away some of the impact from the more emotional latter half of the novel.
The main characters were well rounded. Yes, Arnold's parents were alcoholics but they also loved their son, spent time with him, talked to him and, more importantly, listened. There was a section of the book where Arnold compared his dysfunctional family to those of the white kids he went to school with. Their parents were never around, never see their kids, never talk or listen to them. Guess what Arnold preferred. Even the kids at Reardan, from the jock to the pretty girl, had depth. The book was as much a character study of those around him as it was of Arnold himself.
It was a novel I enjoyed, and one I'd recommend, but not one I fell in love with.
It's funny, and light-hearted except for the heartbreaking honesty of the story that is being told. I enjoyed this book mostly for the window it opened for me into life on an Indian reservation, and how it reflects back any naive, Western romantic notions of what "a native" is.
So on one hand, this is simply a great coming of age story. On the other hand, it's a social study that holds up a mirror to non-Indians and shows you a life so unlike your own.
And don't let yourself be put off by it being a "young adult" book - it crosses over neatly.
The story is interspersed and enhanced by wonderful drawings throughout, describing a native American's experiences moving away from a reservation to a mostly non-Indian school. Every so oftem you have to stop reading to take in a sharp observation on life. This is what swung me to give it 5 stars.
Delightful and fun, a model of effortless reading.