Valerie's Reviews > The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
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's review
Mar 16, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in March, 2008

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a book about a 14-year-old Native American cartoonist who leaves the reservation school behind to attend an all-white public school. Hoping to receive a good education, Arnold "Junior" Spirit straddles two very different worlds, struggling to stay true to his heritage while striking out to make a better life for himself. While he deals with common teen issues like masturbation, fitting in, and girls, he also deals unflinchingly with the very real issues of poverty and alcoholism that exist on the rez.

His cartoons, which are scattered throughout the book, give a sweet reality to Junior's quirky personality as he works through his issues by drawing them. They support the story, but it's not really a diary format, as the title might imply.

As a reader, you want Junior to make good, but it seems like he needs to leave the res behind to do so. This book is the story of his journey to have both, and all the crazy and funny and heartbreaking stuff that happens to him along the way.
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