Jen'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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Apr 23, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: booksfornephewsandnieces
Recommended for: privileged white kids
Read in April, 2008

This book won the National Book Award and gets all kinds of praise for being hilarious, and there is some funny stuff, like the topic of the Indian family's continuing poverty throughout the generations: "Adam and Eve covered their privates with fig leaves; the first Indians covered their privates with their tiny little hands."

Still, the teenaged main character's father shoots his dog because it's sick and the family can't afford to take it to the vet - in the second chapter! And the tragedies brought on by alcoholism and poverty just keep on coming. Also, Junior, the protagonist, is ostracised by his tribe for leaving the rez to go to a white school. This is heavy subject matter, and it's very worthwhile and fascinating and vividly told journal-style, but don't read this if you're looking for a "funny" book. But as an eye-opener, it is superb. I want my nephew, who loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid, to read this to compare and contrast experiences.
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