annapi'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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it was amazing
bookshelves: ya, young-adult, coming-of-age, award-winner
Read 2 times. Last read February 6, 2017 to February 9, 2017.

I was not expecting this to be as good as it was. I'd heard about it but it never really intrigued me enough to pick it up. Which is why I love games that make me read books, because I discover gems I would otherwise have passed by.

This is a YA story of Arnold Spirit, a young boy living on a reservation. Arnold, or "Junior", is a book-loving nerd who was born with hydrocephalus, which sometimes causes seizures, and this oddity makes him a target for the school bullies all his life. One day a teacher tells him that his only chance at a life lies outside the reservation, so he takes the bold step of transferring to the white boys' school over twenty miles away, where he is the only Indian. This earns him the enmity and scorn of just about everyone on the reservation, including his former best friend Rowdy. But he perseveres and to his surprise actually makes friends at his new school.

I have no idea what day to day life is like on a reservation, but the bleak picture that this portrays is sobering even as the author's wry voice injects humor in Arnold's life; yet it never lets go of hope. It left me wishing the author had continued the story so I could find out how Rowdy's life turns out, as well as the other characters.

This won the National Book Award, and I think it's well deserved. I certainly would recommend it to young readers from middle school up. Avoid the e-copy, though, not just for the smattering of formatting errors, but because it's full of pictures that can't clearly be seen until they come up with a way to zoom in on illustrations.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 6, 2017 – Started Reading
February 9, 2017 – Shelved
February 9, 2017 – Shelved as: ya
February 9, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 9, 2017 – Shelved as: coming-of-age
February 9, 2017 – Shelved as: award-winner
February 9, 2017 – Finished Reading

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