The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian

Book - 2009
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j
jmli
Aug 13, 2016

A boy from the Spokane Indian reservation enrolls in a white school, despite the hate and betrayal the rest of his tribe feels.

r
rowiek
Jun 22, 2016

Arnold is a boy who lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He has several problems like ‘born with water on the brain’ (he has a big head), he has a poor eyesight, seizures and lips and stutters. This is the reason he is regularly beaten up and calling names like ‘retard’ (for the brain damage) and ‘globe’ (because of his large head). He is very poor and he only has two friends, his dog – Oscar - and Rowdy (a boy who also live on the reservation). When Oscar gets sick his father kills him and now his only friend is Rowdy.

Rowdy has problems on its own. His father abuses him and his mother. He is the only one who wants to protect Arnold (who often is called Junior) from his bullies and physical abuse. On the first high school day Arnold found out that his textbook was used by his mother – so it was approximately fifty-five years old. He knows that alcohol (and because of that almost everyone is poor) is more important to most residents than an education is. Junior decides to transfer from his reservation school to Reardan High, a white school that is more than twenty miles away. All of the ‘white’ kids are rich and have enough money to buy everything they want. Once he arrives, Junior finds that he is the only Indian (besides the school’s mascot) there. He get to know a popular white girl, Penelope, and a very smart boy, Gordy. His best friend on the reservation, Rowdy, stays behind and vows never to speak to Junior—the “traitor”—again. Junior also knows that everyone else on the reservation thinks he is an “apple”: red on the outside but white on the inside. Meanwhile, most of the students at Reardan treat Junior as an outcast as well. Although he is stimulated by the intellectual challenges of Reardan’s advanced curriculum, Junior must fight to improve his social standing both on and off the reservation. He accomplishes this accidentally when he goes out for Reardan’s basketball team. He surprises himself when, as a freshman, he makes the varsity team and eventually even becomes a starting player. Junior’s biggest challenge comes when he must play against his former basketball team from the reservation, whose star player is none other than Junior’s ex–best friend, Rowdy. On the first match Wellpinit wins after Rowdy cheats on Junior. But in the second game Junior is the hero of the day.

b
Books2Ubooktalker
Oct 23, 2012

High school student on the Rez decides to buck tradition and attend the best high school in the region, 22 miles away and almost all White. Funny cartoons. Matter-of-fact.

Booklover1235 Jul 01, 2012

"the absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian" by Sherman Alexie is about a boy named junior who was raised on a reservation and was always made fun of. But when the chance comes to change to a school where he can actually achieve something and do something he has to choose,wether to be called a traitor by everybody he knows or tries to show the Rez that he is willing to push everything aside to prove that there is more to life than drinking.

Ninja_Kevin Jun 17, 2012

I have finished a book called "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie a realistic fiction novel. In this book it is about a Indian boy who is lving on a small rezervation or rez and he has a best friend name Rowdy. They both go to school on the rezervation name Wellpinit. Arnold Spirit a fouteen year old teenager and the protagonist is a book kisser what this mean is that he like to read and write. When he had gone to school , during geometry class Mr.P his teacher had passed out textbooks. When Arnold relizes that he got his mothers textbook that was at least thirty years old he threw it at Mr.P in the face. Then Mr.P came over to his house to talk to him about what he had done. When Mr.P said something like, if you don't leave this rezervation then you will die. Another thing he said was something like if you are the only one who hasn't gave up, every one has gave up even the teachers at his school had gave up even his parents had gave up even his best friend Rowdy had gave up. He also wanted the world to know that he is important. What will happen next?

Ólive Jun 17, 2012

Sherman Alexie’s dark comedy offers up insight about respect, identity and acceptance in unadorned, briskly paced language that will appeal to many teens. Junior Spirit is a Spokane Indian eager to begin high school on his reservation. His hopes of newfound knowledge and opportunities are dashed when he is assigned the same textbook that belonged to his uneducated, impoverished mother thirty years earlier, bringing on a sense of fatalism and despair. Urged by his teacher to respect his dreams and demand more from life than can be expected on the reservation, Junior bravely gathers his dignity and stands up for himself by transferring to a school in a distant town. So begins his search for identity and his place in the world, as “Junior Spirit”, traitor to his people, is ostracized on the rez for consorting with whites, while “Arnold Spirit Junior”, alone, navigates the racism and mystifying cultural rules of an all-white school. “Absolutely True Diary” could easily become a litany of anger, pain and hopelessness; the poverty, alcoholism, violence and incredible death rate chronicled in the novel seems insurmountable. Yet for every tragic event, there is a detail to give us hope or even a laugh, and even the most debauched characters receive understanding and a chance at redemption. Arnold’s cartoon sketches of the people around him, drawn by artist Ellen Forney, amuse and meld seamlessly with the tone of the text. Arnold’s spirit, however, is the most compelling aspect of the book, and his relentless determination to succeed in escaping the fate of his tribe lingers with the reader, making him one of the most inspiring characters in young adult fiction today. Arnold’s quest for a better life proves that acceptance is won by earning respect, and the first step in gaining the respect of others is respecting yourself

w
wrightlibtech
Mar 24, 2012

Sherman Alexie’s dark comedy offers up insight about respect, identity and acceptance in unadorned, briskly paced language that will appeal to many teens. Junior Spirit is a Spokane Indian eager to begin high school on his reservation. His hopes of newfound knowledge and opportunities are dashed when he is assigned the same textbook that belonged to his uneducated, impoverished mother thirty years earlier, bringing on a sense of fatalism and despair. Urged by his teacher to respect his dreams and demand more from life than can be expected on the reservation, Junior bravely gathers his dignity and stands up for himself by transferring to a school in a distant town. So begins his search for identity and his place in the world, as “Junior Spirit”, traitor to his people, is ostracized on the rez for consorting with whites, while “Arnold Spirit Junior”, alone, navigates the racism and mystifying cultural rules of an all-white school.

“Absolutely True Diary” could easily become a litany of anger, pain and hopelessness; the poverty, alcoholism, violence and incredible death rate chronicled in the novel seems insurmountable. Yet for every tragic event, there is a detail to give us hope or even a laugh, and even the most debauched characters receive understanding and a chance at redemption. Arnold’s cartoon sketches of the people around him, drawn by artist Ellen Forney, amuse and meld seamlessly with the tone of the text.

Arnold’s spirit, however, is the most compelling aspect of the book, and his relentless determination to succeed in escaping the fate of his tribe lingers with the reader, making him one of the most inspiring characters in young adult fiction today. Arnold’s quest for a better life proves that acceptance is won by earning respect, and the first step in gaining the respect of others is respecting yourself.

Arnold Spirit is 14 when he makes the life-altering decision to transfer to a school off the Spokane Indian Reservation. The only other Indian at his new school is the mascot.

h
Hokansonh
Jul 30, 2010

When Junior announces that he wants to attend the white school off the reservation he is not only ostracized, but tormented by his own people. As he dips one foot into the strange world of white people and keeps the other firmly planted on the reservation he feels torn between the better life he glimpses at his new school and the life he has always known.

This novel is simultaneously hopeful and hopeless. Junior is one boy out of an entire reservation who is able to break the pattern that has so firmly gripped his family and friends. At the same time, the reader meets all those who Junior loves and loses. Those who don’t break the cycle, and the reader can see why Junior says “Indians have LOST EVERYTHING. We lost our native land, we lost our languages, we lost our songs and dances. We lost each other. We only know how to lose and be lost.”

In the end, Junior receives his best friend Rowdy’s blessing which he needs to head out into the world, but both know it will be a bitter-sweet departure. Alexie brilliantly portrays the whites whom Junior meets as having problems that might be different from his, but are problems none-the-less. A must-read for both teens and adults.


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