All parent member reviews for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Parents say

(out of 19 reviews)
age 14+
Review this title!
Parent of a 7 year old Written bye.tai09 October 1, 2009
I just finished reading this novel for my college english course. I'd have to say that when i first picked up the book, I wondered why we were reading it! I mean, pictures?! Really? lol Then after I read it I understood why. Though there are some sexual references, alcohol abuse, ect, Alexie gives us an intimate look into the life of a teenage boy with hopes and dreams who is lead to self-discovery by the people around him throughout the novel. There was a connection I felt with Junior (the protagonist) that influences me to give this novel a two-thumbs-up! I would recomend this novel for teens 16 or over =]
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written byImprovingeducation September 9, 2013

Some educational value does not compensate for a low reading level crass and vulgar book.

I read this book because it was on my son's school required reading list. I felt it was incredibly juvenile for a 10th grade honors English class. The swearing was bothersome but not a deal-killer. Then I got to the masturbation discussion that went on for over a page. Flipping through it I found a variety of sexually related musings. This is like handing my son an R rated movie with sexual detail and saying it's okay because the historical aspect is good. Students could learn the cultural and social aspects without reading the vulgarity.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 15 and 17 year old Written byPNW TeacherMom July 3, 2010

TMI!!!

I thought this book was informative, but objectionable. The struggles and sucesses of a modern native american, though sometimes inspiring, are overshadowed by his sexual preoccupation.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Parent of a 13 year old Written byrkskymuffin March 2, 2011
it was not one of my fav books at all i mean it was ok but many other better books
Parent of a 13 year old Written bybookaffair November 27, 2010

Positive messages about life is what you make it!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent of a 7 year old Written byfindog3103 April 11, 2010
Adult Written bymoviemadness April 9, 2008

Wonderful...

A funny, inspiring, and brutally honest book about unfairness, racism, friendship, and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. The characters are believable, and readers will sympathize with Junior's plight. This is a great story to introduce readers to the lives of those living on Native American reservations. Parents should know that there is a frank reference to masturbation and boy has his head sewn up without anasthaesia. There is also so swearing. Altogether, it's a great story for teens 14+!
Parent of a 1 and 5 year old Written byrustfam November 11, 2010

A Must Discuss book!

This is a powerful book relaying a hopeless and hopeful message, but it's a book that can't be read in solitude. Parents read with your teens and discuss -- there are incredible life lessons that are worth discussing!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 8, 10, and 17 year old Written byMrs. Bartels December 6, 2009

INSPIRING PERSEVERENCE!

I love how persistant the main character is in his pursuit of an education. I admire his work ethic and his ability to stick with school despite the many obstacles put in his path: racism, alcoholism, loss, poverty etc... He is amazing on the basketball court, not because he is a natural basketball player, but because he refuses to let anything get in the way of his success. It is his ability to stay focused in the midst of chaos that I find particularly inspiring. He never loses sight of his goals, and that embodies a wholesome vision of success that is endearing.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 15 year old Written bymomtojoe August 19, 2010

great story of hope and overcoming adversity

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written byJuliaG 3 February 4, 2016

Humorous and Unique Book

I read this book twice (In high school, and college). I have to admit that I love it. It is funny, and historical. It always makes me cry in the sad parts of the book. I recommend this book to everyone.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byJorge Peralta December 9, 2015

Good Read/ Recommend

More people need to know about this book because it has a strong message about racism and, along side, criticism. This book gives you a good perspective on how life is for kid's living on Indian reservations, it gives you a good picture of the struggles of their everyday life, and also involves you escaping your own comfort zone in order to accomplish things. Many people doubted junior, the narrator and main character of this book, and at points he, too, would doubt himself. That all changed when Mr. P, a teacher at the reservation, encouraged junior to become something of himself and helped him embrace the fact that he will have to leave his comfort zone in order to accomplish his dreams. Summing up most of the story, and its strong message, I can relate to most of the stuff in this book and I'm sure you can relate to it too. I highly encourage everyone to read this book because the plot of the story isn't confusing, this fictional story consists of humor with a bit of romance.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byJoshuaM 1 October 22, 2015

An overreaction among parents

Last year while i attended Mountain View High School the Part Time Indian was being challenged by a parent of another student in my school. Due to their strong religious beliefs, without even reading the book, the parent tried to get this book banned. If the parent took the time to read the book they would learn the book wasn't "anti christian" or "explicit" or even "racist." The book included a small erotic moment which was included in the chapter that teachers would have students skip. The racism occurred in the book to show what the author went through growing up an indian in an all white school and was necessary to get his point across. Once people step back and realize this book is being used to not only educate but open the minds of students, then i believe they would never want it banned.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written byeloc5 December 16, 2009
Best book ever for kids over 12 or 13 ... teaches kids alot about indian reservations
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great role models
Adult Written byRM August 16, 2009

Excellent book that requires lots of discussion and background information...

Excellent book with a positive underlying message. The language is strong at times, as the author really attempts to capture an authentic 9th grader's voice. I think this is an appropriate choice for ages 13+ as long as kids have a chance for LOTS of discussion. I don't know if every child will understand the author's tone fully and if they don't, the way that the author pokes fun of the stereotypes about his culture might be dismissed as racist or weird. It's important for them to understand WHY he takes the tone that he does...the book is just so hilarious for the amount of sadness that it contains. The bottom line on this book is that it needs to be discussed with teenagers as they read it, whether it's in class or on their own. I was a little shocked by one of the cartoons when I saw it, but once I actually read the book, I understood why it's considered to be so good.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written byAIDS2016 March 23, 2016

True Diary

It is a book about a Indian kid that has problems with his brain and wants to make more of himself so he leaves the rev. He faces many challenges and deaths but never gives up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written byM.Ortega December 17, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the reservation and attends an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. It is a heart breaking and hilarious book about an author's own experience as a Native American young teenage boy that is as he makes his way to free himself from his destined life.
Educator and Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bykeirap June 4, 2015

In my top five books EVER

This is a phenomenal book. Very well written. The main character perseveres through more than anyone should have to go through yet he never gives up. I told my two boys that they HAD to read it. They both loved it. My older son was not happy about the swear words, but he admitted to liking it. My younger son got it and loved it regardless of the inappropriate words. It is really not for kids under 12. My son was 11 when he read it, but that was at home. Not for elementary school children at school. Great messages and well written.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent Written byMelodyMV August 14, 2009

It's one interesting perspective of one interesting teen

Great book! Recommended for mature readers, and something to definitely discuss with parents. So much character growth in this book makes you want to continue cheering for Junior!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking