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 57 reviews)
age 14+
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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, 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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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

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