All teen and kid member reviews for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Kids say

(out of 38 reviews)
age 14+
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Teen, 14 years old Written byHeroOfLight94 January 2, 2009

my favorite book of all time next to drums girls and dangerous pie

this book i thought was going to be funny but what i get was an amazingly written tale of racism, homophobia, love, compassion, teen life, life on reservations, and acceptance. There are numerous sexual references but mostly all portrayed humorously. there is also strong language. one f--k and other mild language. there are short fistfights a few sad deaths and strong alchoholic content
Teen, 13 years old Written byfox10145 December 29, 2010

Great comedy

I choose to read this book for our "banned book" project. The masturbation mention seems to be the most controversial topic for this book. You should know masturbation is only mentioned and does not go into detail. My teacher even suggested I choose a different book because of it. But I think this is just Sherman Alexie's way of accurately portraying teenagers these days. I felt like Alexie genuinely understood what being a teen is like. Alcohol, strong language, and a small amount of violence take place in the story aswell. I laughed throughout the whole book. A great message of making new friends and forgiving old friends is a main theme throughout the book. The importance of family and standing up for what you believe in is also an important moral preached throughout the story.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byWC August 18, 2010
I had to read this in June-August 2010 for my incoming freshman high school year. I thought it was a good book, but was way inappropriate for kids my age.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byolivia8409384 December 9, 2015

Educational, but includes risque topics

Arnold, the main character, isn't your average teenage boy. Arnold is Indian and is struggling with poverty, bullying, and racism. He grew up on the Spokane Indian reservation where education isn't their forte and eventually ends up leaving the reservation in order to receive a better education. Everyone on the reservation thinks of Arnold as a traitor when he leaves including his best friend Rowdy. But when he leaves the reservation he makes some pretty great friends like Penelope, Gordy, Roger, and even his basketball coach. The themes the book addresses are poverty, bullying, and racism. The author addresses these themes in a humorous yet serious way. I can relate to the struggles of poverty and I think the book portrayed poverty spot on. I really enjoyed the book because of the author’s humorous approach on touchy topics. But what I didn’t like was how descriptive the author went into certain topics, specifically the masturbation topic. I think some parts of the book were unnecessary and would have been better off unsaid. I would recommend this book to a friend because it’s an easy read and addresses heavy topics. I think this book should be censored for certain sexual scenes and racial slurs if kids under the age of 13 are reading because I don’t think this book is appropriate for all ages.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bydaisy224751 April 16, 2014

great

This book is really interesting and great, I finished in two days!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byCassie.Laguna December 9, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary Of a Part-Time Indian is about a nerdy fourteen-year old boy, Arnold Spirit (Junior) living on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State. He was born with water on the brain ( cerebral spinal fluid ) and other disabilities like having seizures, stutter problems, and lisp. He always get bullied and his family and his whole reservation that lives in is in poverty. On his reservation it is known that Reservation Indians do not get opportunities or chances to grow up and be successful. One day Arnold decides that he wants to change that, he wants to take control of his life and future and he enrolls in to a all white school Reardan. After switching schools Arnold's best friend Rowdy turns around and hates Arnold for leaving him. When he first started Reardan he was a outcast, he had gotten bullied and had no friends, he eventually grows from being a outcast to a loved peer and gains new friends and a girlfriend , Penelope , Gordy , and Roger. Many teens can relate to this book, the world is full of poverty and racism and many people have to deal with being bullied and laughed at in there everyday life just because they are a different race or because they are poor and do not fit in. The theme of this book is mixed, it is about poverty, race, friendship, hopes and dreams, etc.. it is about that everyone in the world, no matter how poor, old, young, or what nationality you are, you can take control of your life. if you want to be successful, you will need to work for it. It won't come to you. You can overcome any obstacles in your path by believing in yourself and moving forward towards your goals. I liked the book very much because it talks about common problems in life and it shows readers that overcoming problems is not impossible. It is a very inspiring book that encourages you to get out there and start getting things done and not give up. What i did not like about this book is how Arnold talks about how hormonal he is. It was a bit too much for me. Overall I would recommend this book to a friend. This book is perfectly fine for library shelves it is inspiring and very interesting book that many people can relate too.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written bybriannatv December 9, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a great book to read and I recommend it to teenagers. Arnold “Junior“ Spirit, had left his old school, with no hope, no chances, or no future, he could've followed his dream. He is also a hydrocephalic with a stutter and a lisp who is picked on endlessly, he's the reservation outcast. At school, he's beaten up and knocked down by just about every kid except his best friend, Rowdy, and even Rowdy knocks him down now and then, and brings him to tears. Arnold changed from the reservation school to Reardan High School, to people, who are not like Arnold, not as smart as him, but they are different in another way, they are white. Arnold gets picked on at Reardan, too, but he fights back and wins a place in the in crowd, and a bulimic girlfriend, Penelope and a spot in the varsity basketball team. The 14 year old Indian Arnold lived in two worlds, one full of white kids who don't make Arnold feel welcome, and one where he feels comfortable but just by himself. This book has its ups and downs and that's why it's a very good one, it seems that you know this person and you can connect with Arnold. It also shows you that friendship is important and the little things in life can make you happy and that's the way you can follow your dreams. As he's known off the reservation, loves basketball and cartooning, but he realizes early on that you've got to get off the reservation if he's going to keep his mind and soul intact. But this novel’s not just a good lesson, it’s funny. Junior is very hormonal, but he’s a teenager, that’s to be expected. I didn’t really like some of the racist, sexist, homophobic language that was used, but it felt authentic to the characters, the name calling I didn’t like. Still, I really enjoyed this book, it taught me more about Native American culture than I ever learned in school. If you haven’t picked up this book, I recommend it, aside from the language, it’s a good story.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byadamsT December 9, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Review:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a story of a teen boy; named Arnold Spirit, who is living in poverty with his mother, father, and grandmother. His dream is to have a hopeful future and make his life better than how it is now. Alongside him is his best friend: Rowdy, they’ve been together since they were kids and they make the best out of every situation. Arnold is a frail bodied child, with “Water on the brain” who also has a passion to make cartoons of his own; while Rowdy is a menacing, tough guy who protects Arnold; or as most people call him “Junior.” His parents do the best they can to make their lives meaningful, even with the little money they have. Arnold’s mother is a stay-at-home parent, while his father is an occasional drunk. Whenever he drinks he would sing his old country songs and get lost somewhere and both Arnold and his mother would have to go find him; to bring him back home. Arnold also has a sister, but he calls her “Mary runs away” because she is mostly gone from home or most of the time in their basement away from everyone. Mary soon got her full title when she got married to a unknown guy from Montana and moved their with her new husband, to fulfill her dreams. Arnold’s grandmother is a tolerant woman because no matter what people do to her, or to anybody else she can finds the best in the person and forgive them for whatever they had done. The themes of this story are; poverty, bullying, and racism. The poverty in this story is how Arnold and his family live in the Spokane Reservation, or known as “The Rez”. Arnold experiences poverty by how he gets to school, and how him and his family have to go a couple days without eating and make up for it somehow. When Arnold goes to the white school or Reardan, 22 miles away from his home; he sometimes needs to either walk the way their, or sometimes hitchhike. With the little money they have it mostly has to go to their car because it’s their only form of transportation. Bullying and racism come together in the story because Arnold gets bullied in the Rez because of his brain damage and his lisp, while at Reardan, he gets bullied because he is the only indian boy at the school. Where I can relate to this book is because I have been bullied once due to how I look. It was just looks in general, I am still made fun of because of how I look every now and then but I ignore that and try not to make a scene out of the situation. I also relate to how he feels when losing someone special to you can take a toll on your life and make you really depressed, knowing that someone in your family, or a friend of yours is gone. I liked the book for the multiple emotional scenes and exciting events, like how Arnold got mad due to seeing a really old Algebra book that used to belong to his mother, and he ended up throwing it at his teacher; Mr. P. What I didn’t like about the book, was that the rest of the book had a lot of sad moments and depressing scenarios; such as al the deaths, and passing of his family members and friends. Honestly I would recommend this book to someone who likes a lot of drama and fictional stories. In my opinion I don’t think the book should be censored or taken off library shelves because it is a good book for teens and adults. The censoring would make it seem less appealing, if it’s trying to connect with the reader. If a child is reading this, then I would recommend censoring because I don’t think adults would want their child repeating what they had read in a book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bys8455758 December 9, 2015

The book is great and HONEST

This book is about a teenage boy going through life like almost every teenager out there. He goes through all the up and downs about life that leads to self-discovery because of the people he is around throughout the novel. The book has several themes to it: identity & self esteem, poverty, race, hopes, dreams, & plans, and education. I can relate to the story because in the beginning and middle Arnold Spirit didn’t know who he was as a person he just knew he was one thing in one place and another thing in another. I had the same problem because I didn’t know who I was until I met the people I did recently. I liked this book because Sherman discusses real life problems and didn’t cover it up. Some examples would be the sexual urges he would have, how there was some alcohol abuse going on, friendships being ruined, etc., he didn’t hide anything because it’s real life. I also liked how he would tackle these problems with humor so it would be serious but funny at the same time. For me there was nothing that I didn’t like the book was really interesting and educational in my opinion. I would definitely recommend this book to friends because it’s a book that they can relate especially if they have identity issues because of their race, In my opinion, this book shouldn’t be banned because of the content. People should look past it and understand the lesson at the end. Especially for middle and high school students, it shouldn’t be banned to read this book when there is a lesson at the end.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bykfchristian December 9, 2015

Disgustingly Great

This book was almost the typical “kid being bullied” kind of book. It started off describing all of Arnold, the main characters, many many health defects and how people/kids on the reservation would make fun of him for them. The book took a turn at many points like; when Arnold hit his teacher in the face with a book, when he decided to go to a school outside of the reservation, or when he made friends with some of the most popular kids in school. At first, I didn’t think I would be able to relate to this book, seeing that I was never bullied, I don’t have health defects and I don’t have much of a race issue. But, like the main character, there are many times I’ve felt very alone and I did lost my best friend. There were actually very few things I disliked about this book. Some of the few were the lack of page numbers, and the chronic acknowledgement of the main characters addiction to masturbation -just because I don’t usually share such private details with anyone, but that’s just me. I do think that a lot of details may have been over exaggerated for the sake of the book. The characters and their features seemed exaggerated as well but in a realistic fiction book you’re allowed to get as close to almost-impossible as you possibly can. I do, however, appreciate the authors rawness and realness when it came down to how he wrote. It didn’t sound like he BS’d at all. He was being as real as possible and I think that that’s a quality a lot of writers lack.I would definitely recommend this book to a friend, it’s funny but at the same time it addresses very serious bullying and race issues, so it’s educational but it’s also entertaining. I understand that the book was censored and banned in various libraries/schools across the country, which I don’t agree with. I think the book does have just the right, small, amount of vulgarity and profanity. It’s not overdone at all to the point of censorship, for high school and maybe even middle school students. Although I didn’t find it extremely inappropriate, maybe if I were a 3rd grade teacher, I would feel differently.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byfuzzyowl November 17, 2008

Hilarious and sad

This book is hilarious though slightly crude. It is a well worth your time book. It will especially help when you thought you had a bad day!
Teen, 17 years old Written byjuanhernandrez December 9, 2015

the review

i kind of liked this because and the reason why i liked this book was it was talking about a kid who faced many difficult paths along the way and he switched school and that was difficult because i think he was the only Indian there and he feels isolated while moving to his new school but along the way he made some new friends. when he left the reservation to go to that new school because he wants a better education for himself and His best friend Rowdy hauls off and punches him in the face. The rest of the reservation begins to shun him as well, and treat him as a traitor to his people.The push and pull between Reardan and the reservation make Arnold feel like a part-time Indian because he always has to change how he acts im guessing.i liked there themes and the themes were friendships,home,hope,dreams and plans and education. well people can relate to this book because some people come from other countries and move to different places that people dont speak that language or no there customs. i would really like to recommend this book to teachers and students in any school because its really interesting story about junior moving up trying to get a better education for himself. they shouldnt censor this book because highschoolers read this book and they are old enough to understand these r rated words.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byDevin da Savage December 9, 2015

A High School Students review

The story is about a kid named Arnold who is a native american that lives on a reservation. When he is convinced that going to a school outside the reservation was the only way he could break the cycle and be the one Indian who could get off the reservation and be successful and not be poor like the rest of his people. His people don't like the fact that he goes to a white school so they bash on him all the time and call him names. He even lost his one and only friend Rowdy. During the school year he meets new friends like Penelope,Roger,Gordy. One of the main themes for this story would be poverty. Arnold and all his people on the reservation are pretty poor. In some instances of the story he has to walk 22 miles to school, or hitchhike to school and back. Some teenagers can or could relate to this book in many ways. He gets bullied because his skin color is different than the other students. Even teachers neglected him because he was from the reservation, they just automatically assumed that he was as smart as the rest of the students. I liked this book because it tells someone else's perspective of life and how different someone's life can be just because of a few differences that could hold him down maybe his whole lifetime. I didn't like how he phrased some of the topics of the book but it's overall a great book. I would recommend this book to friends so maybe they can relate to some of the story. I think the book should be recommended to read for 10th to 12th grade level students. It only tells the truth about what it feels like to be a native american in a white school, which is where the title comes from The Absolutely True diary of a Part-Time Indian. It's the same as being a white person going to an all black high school or vice versa. This book is a real eye opener!
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 17 years old Written byAllison Finch December 9, 2015

This book is so honest

I think that is book is really good anyone who feels like they are trying really hard to make everyone happy. It's really honest and talks about things that you really wouldn't expect. It can help students get through friendship problems, starting at a new school, grief, poverty, and difficult at home situations. It's also very easy to relate to, and can be for students of all ages. The book takes place on the rez and at the suburban school, Sherman wrote it in a way that you can picture it and almost feel like you are there. The way that the book is written is almost as if he is having a conversation with you. The book falls under three genres non-fiction, drama, and self-help. This novel could really help a lot of teens get through some difficult times in their young lives.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byZordonox August 21, 2015

Possibly one of the worst books I've ever read

I had to read this book this summer and its absolutely terrible. The book was 230 pages of some idiot finding a way to complain about everything. I didn't feel any sort of connection to the characters, so I didn't really care what happened to any of them. The book is so evidently boring and repetitive that the author makes an effort to add crude humor in, which is almost never funny. I can't believe people like this book at all, and I hope to never read it again
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written bynoveleater November 9, 2011

A comedy with heart, but death(s) take place

True Diary is hysterical… one of the funniest books I’ve ever read with a perfect end to a perfect novel. The story tells of a boy named Junior who lives in the Rez, a town with an Indian culture background. He decides he is going to go to an all-white-school where Junior will be bullied, will bully, make friends, get a girlfriend and have an experience like no other. Junior’s adventure in the school is witty and the writing is accompanied by little comics that express just as much as the writing does. He is realistic and has little quirks that make you love him more. Although the humor is funny, it does touch upon erections, masturbation, and a girl underwear magazine (all just said, no real action explained) and the book does not talk about S.E.X AT ALL!!!!! The story has a suicide, three deaths (or is it four) and Junior talks about how The Rez is filled with alcoholics and parents that abuse children. The f*** word is used once in teh sexuely correct way, also sh** is said. The novel is great and recommend it for anyone over 13 and for anyone with a witty sense of humor, the ride is totally worth it, I promise you.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byphoenixadvanced June 7, 2010

Fantastic book, great for anyone cause it's interesting and funny

This book was great. The narrator was hilarious, and the drawings throughout the book made it interesting to read . The main guy is great cause he knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go for it. Even though he's small and skinny he stands up for his family and tribe, even when some massive senior makes a racist comment, Junior punches him in the face despite the fact that it might earn him a beating. What made this book even better was that I learned after I read it that it was based on the author's life and experiences growing up on an Indian Reservation. This book taught me a lot about Indian Reservations that I didn't know before, and it was really well written.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byLindseyw89 December 9, 2015

nice book

I think this book is pretty good. This book tells a story about a young teenage Native American boy named Arnold (junior for short), starting his first year of high school. The story basically starts off talking about the beginning of his life. He tells you about his life when he was born, and what it was like living with a poor family on a reservation. Arnold was also bullied for a big part of his young life for both his race and his medical condition, but he'd realize he would be okay because his best friend Rowdy was always there for him. He fast forwards to when he starts his freshmen year of high school. Because of how poor he is, he has to go to poor school, and he becomes frustrated for the outdated supplies they give. He ends up transferring to an all white and a richer school where he goes through new experiences, some being and good and others being bad. He meets all new friends, one in particular being a girl named Penelope, whom of which he likes a lot. I feel as if i can relate to the main character Arnold and his story, because high school can be a tough experience, especially when it comes to dealing with bullies in general. I enjoyed this book because he speaks out on bullying, and he shows that you definitely are not alone. He also speaks out on the racism he experiences throughout the book. Although one thing that I wasn't too big of a fan, is sometimes there is a humor, and he either takes a joke a bit far or keeps extending it from there, otherwise, everything else was in fair taste. If you are into reading experiences and stories about passed experiences like these, then i would definitely recommend this book. I believe this is a great book to have in school libraries, because there are lots of important lessons that can be learned from reading it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byweb78lit January 7, 2015

Relatable book for teenagers

It's a funny easy to read book with some illustration. It does contain bad language, references to eating disorders, racism, sexual content, alcoholism, death, violence and poverty. It does show, from a fourteen year olds perspective, that you can rise above any circumstances.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byboyyy July 16, 2011

Brandon's Brilliant Review

This book isn't actually that bad my parents read it and they thought it was educational and im only 13. Yes it has some swearing andsome alcohol related things but its not like the're not going to say it when they grow up. once they get older the're allowed tosay whatever they want without your permission. Plus if the bookwasn't really that good why is it a NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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