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

Common Sense Media says

Funny, gritty, and powerful novel of growing up on the rez.

Users say

(out of 52 reviews)
age 14+
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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, 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, 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, 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
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
Kid, 12 years old October 10, 2010
I am only in the third chapter and there is already talk of masturbation. I am 12 and I feel a little awkward about reading that stuff. Although, it does have some great messages about poverty and bullying. If your child is mature enough to not show that sexual stuff to their friends as a chuckle during class, than I think it is a great book.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
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
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, 15 years old Written byhamstergurl09 May 7, 2010

Fine

I thought the majority of this book was very funny. The story was interesting, and I learned a lot more about native americans on reservations. There are only some parts of the book I didn't like, but other than that, I enjoyed it.
Educator and Parent of a 7 year old Written byfindog3103 April 11, 2010
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
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
Teen, 17 years old Written byLadiicoca August 30, 2009

Perfect for teens and young adults

I Think this book is absolutely appropriate for Teen from the age of 14+ because this is wen kids start to get an idea of how life is and you cant hide things from your kids you have to be very open so that they will trust you in the long run and listen when you give advise
What other families should know
Educational value
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
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 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.
Teen, 17 years old Written byscoopt December 15, 2015

Corny but it gets to the point

I think this book is really good for in school if you need to learn about cultural struggles and appropriation. It has really corny humor but it kinda lightens the mood of the book because most of it explains the problems this young indian boy on a reservation has. He talks about masturbation a little bit but its part of his humor and its not vulgar, it's pretty chilled out and generalized. I wouldn't recommend this book to someone trying to read in their spare time or for fun because its not really the most enjoyable literature. But at the same time its an easy read and has pictures so its good for prepubescent teens maybe wanting to learn about actually struggles without having to haul out a huge history book or do unncecessary research.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byYoung Guap December 11, 2015

Good a** book!!!!!!!!!

The Absolutely True Diary of Part Time Indian is a really good book which explains the difficulty of a Native American kid called Junior. Throughout the whole book he over came obstacles of being segregated for being native american and also being called racial slur names. Junior in the book realizes if he doesn't push himself away from the reservation that he wont be able to accomplish his goals. So he realizes he has to switch schools and be successful away from the reservation camp were he learns to start a new life. I liked the book because it explains the difficulty of life of many people who are different races who can relate to this and how other people treat them for not being the same race. I would recommend this book to anybody who want to read a good book with a great message with humor in it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byYungGucci December 11, 2015

Good Book Fam!

This book is lit boi. Arnold struggled a lot throughout the book. It explained how difficult the life of an Indian boy was. This book talked about racism, and sad deaths, but gave a great message. This book also has a few strong languages, and use of alcohol. In the book Arnold also nicknamed as "Junior" had to move from his reservation and had to switch schools to a new life. He realized and was told that if he didn't move from the reservation he wouldn't achieve the goals he wanted in life.4
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byAxelR.mke December 9, 2015

Thrilling Read- Recommended

Sherman Alexie's book empathizes the struggle of Indians, and many others, refugees living in reservations camps. In this comedy book, also filled with romance, the narrator, Junior, explains his difficulties between a better future or staying with his people. His decision is for a better future, and so forth, he changes school to persuade his education. Although being picked on by mostly everyone, he manages to get passed it and eventually gets a chance to go out with the hottest girl he's ever laid eyes on. I recommend this book for young adults ages 14+, due to the language and references the book contains.
What other families should know
Great messages

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